Skip to main content

Full text of "Incidents in my life"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 



at |http : //books . google . com/ 



INCIDENTS IN MY LIFE. 



INCIDENTS IN MY LIFE. 



D. D. HOME. 



SECOND EDITION. 



LONDON: 

P. PITMAN, 20, PATERNOSTEE ROW. 

1864. 

The right of translation is reserved. 



LONDON : 

Printed by A. Schulze, 13, Poland Street. 




PEEFACE 



THE SECOND EDITION. 



In issuing a Second Edition, I may say a few words 
to the reader to explain my present views and position, 
after having had the benefit of all the reviews that have 
been published on the first edition. These reviews have 
been to a number and extent imparalleled, I believe, for 
so simple and unpretending a book, whose only basis is 
plain matter of fact. My reviewera have been as various 
as they have been numerous, kind and unkind, truthful 
and false, wise and foolish, fair and unfair, daily, weekly, 
and quarterly, English and foreign. They have passed 
all kinds of verdicts upon the' facts, and yet, whether 
acknowledging or denying, it has never occurred to me 
to think that what they alleged or argued had altered 
a single feet or circumstance stated by me. Some of 
these revieweA appear to believe that they can print facts 
out of existence ; and after reading some of their articles, 
in which they prove so convincingly that what has hap- 
pened has not happened, it has been a relief to me to find 
that the same things happened over again ^t a sitting. 



lY PBEFACE. 

perhaps the same evening, in the presence of ten or half- 
a-dozen leading members of literary and scientific coteries. 
It is hard to find oneself in such a pass with reference to 
testimony. In my book, I have adduced a fair amount 
of testimony by persons who give their names, and who 
are so well known that it is a small thing to say of them, 
that they are, at least, in position and reputation, fully 
equal to the general run of their critics, and would be so 
considered at any social gathering. But, by some of the 
most inveterate of the critics, all their testimony goes for 
nothing, as not being sufficient in number, and of all 
that which is vouched only by initials, no account is 
taken, any more than if I had forged it. Those who, 
for sufficient or insufficient reasons, have concealed their 
names, have had small encouragement given them, from 
seeing the way in which the more courageous witnesses 
have been treated, and designated as dupes, impostors, 
credulous simpletons, and persons of no reputation. And 
because some fear to incur this certain torrent of abuse, 
and when they have happened to have their eyes open 
in a room where certain fa<3ts have occurred, and have 
afterwards written their accounts of what they have seen, 
under initials instead of their full names, reviewers tell 
us that such things never happened at all. Several of 
my friends have copies pf my book in which all these 
initials are filled up with the real names ; but it is not 
necessary to have this information, to enaWe us to form 
a judgment of such critics. I am rather disappointed at 
the state of the criticism of the day, which I had not 
thought was so low. 

However, as I am once again coming before the public 



PBEFACB. • V 

with this plaiB^ unTarnished statement of some of the 
" Incidents of My Life," it is fitting I should say that 
I have nothing to retract or to alter, to extenuate or to 
apologise for. A wrong date for one of the incidents 
niay pass for what it is worth, and with this exception, 
I can assure the reader, that each one of the facts I have 
stated, happened as I have described, and that those who 
believe the most of what I have narrated will be the 
nearest to the truth. 

An amusing incident occurred a few months after 
the publication of the first edition. It appears that in 
addition to his other claims. Sir David Brewster sets up 
a claim that he alone is gifted with the power of feeling. 
To me he denies all feeling, and has coarsely and 
untruly held me up to the public as a cheat and an 
impostor. But when I prove by documents and inde- 
pendent witnesses his true character, he actually feels it, 
and complains. It is a pity that he has not discovered, 
amongst his other great discoveries, that others have 
feeling as well as himself. The reader shall judge how 
loudly this gentleman can complain when his own feelings 
are wounded, and how susceptible he is for himself before 
the public. The following letter was sent to my publishers 

by him. 

» 

Gentlemen, 

My attention has been called to a malignant libel upon 

my character, published by you in a Book entitled 

" Incidents of my Life,'* By D. D. Home. That you were 

aware of this libel is evident from your ^^ Notes on 



Tl ' PKBFACS. 

Book$ for May^* in wliieh yon mention the contents of 
tbe Ajpfendix-mhSi^ is the Libel iteell 

It is ntterlj fslae that I ever diiectlj or indiredlj 
claimed to be the inyentor of the Stereoscope. 

It is utterly £ailse that I erer claimed the merit of 
anything, either done or claimed to haye been done, by 
Mr, Sterenson* 

It is also utterly false that I erer claimed any inyention 
made by Fresnel, or any inyention made by any other 
person of which I was not the Author. 

As the resident head of the Vniyersity of Edinburgh, 
I 9eed not point out to you the effect of such a libel 
upon my feelings and usefulness. 

And haying a claim, now under the consideration of 
the Board of Trade,* for remuneration for my Light- 
house Inventions, and for my services in introducing 
them, you must have been aware, that in publishing 
this libel, you inflicted on me a very grave injury. 

As Mr. Home is not in England, I am under the 
necessity of taking such steps against you as my friends 
may think necessary. 

, I am. 

Gentlemen^ 

Tours truly 
(Signed) D. Bbbwsi:ee. 

AUorly, Molroso, June 27th. 1863. 
To Messrs. Longman and Company. 

• Tlio result of the consideration by the Board of Trade of Sir 
David's alleged claims has, I haye since heard, been unfayourable to 
him. 



PREFACE. TU 

As Sir David has provoked this discussion, which it 
woTild have been much wiser in him to have kept silence 
about, I will only refer the reader to the crushing 
account of his doings, which will be found in the 6th 
Vol. of Arago's complete edition of his works, recently 
published, where the fiiU account may be seen of the 
Fresnel, Wheatstone, and other cases. Arago's expos^ of 
Brewster is also contained in the " Annales de Chimie 
et de Physique," Tome 38, as weU as in his complete 
works. The Stereoscope correspondence with Professor 
Wheatstone was in the Times of October 1856, and 
articles upon it of a highly instructive, but not compli- 
mentary nature to Brewster, are in the Edinburgh Eeview 
for Oct. 1858, and in the Westminster Eeview for Oct. 
1856. 

It is a great pity that Sir David Brewster did not 
bring actions to vindicate his character against the 
authors of some of these books, or against Dr. Carpenter, 
against whom he made an abortive threat, instead of at- 
tacking me, who am only one of the public forming a 
judgment of what these great men have written against 
him. I trust that before he takes " such steps as his 
friends may think necessary," he will lay before them 
the works I have here pointed out. 

BoME, Decehbeb, 1863. 



CONTENTS. 

Jjstrodacbarj ChMpbBT ••••«. vii 

CHAPTER L 
EaifyLi&: I beoome a Medium . • • 1 

CHAPTER IL 
BekwelhsWcfM 13 

CHAPTER in. 
Fnrthcr Manifartatdona in America • .42 

CHAPTER IV. 
In En^^and ....... 62 

CHAPTER V. 
At Flarenoe, Eaples, Rome and Paris . .86 

CHAPTER VI. 
In America. The Pressgang ..... 108 

CHAPTER VIL 
1857-8 — ^France, Italy, and Russia. — ^Marriage • • 115 



VI CONTENTS. 





CHAPTER Vm. 




Page 


Russia, Paris and England 




130 




CHAPTER IX. 






The " Comhill " and other Narratives 


« 


164 




CHAPTER X. 






Miraculous Preservation. France and England 




167 




CHAPTER XI. 






A Diary and Letter 


CHAPTER Xn. 




192 


In Memoriam . 


APPENDIX. 




211 


Sir David Brewster . . 

Connection of Mr. Home's Hxperiences with those of Tormer 
Times ....... 


237 
262 



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 



[The Introduction is written by a friend. See the note at the com- 
mencement of the last chapter, page 262.] 

Mr. Home's narrative is composed of particulars so much 
at issue with the ordinary ideas of mankind, that his Mends 
may well feel some apology for it, to be necessary. Delicate 
in health, extremely sensitive in spirit, of gentle and uncom- 
bative nature, coming forward with his narration for no 
conceivable end but to propagate a knowledge of what he 
regards as import^ant truths, it seems but right that he 
should be spared as much as possible of the sceptical derision 
which such novelties are sure in greater or less degree to 
evoke. Hence the present introductory remarks. 

Whatever be the preconceptions of the reader regarding 
Mr. Home, he will scarcely fail, after reading this volume, to 
acknowledge that the author writes as a man thoroughly in 
earnest, and who has himself no doubts of the phenomena 
which attend him. He tells how these phenomena com- 
menced in his childhood, how they have been with him ever 
since, except during a few brief intervals ; how, while bring- 



TIU IKTBODUCTOBY BEXABKS. 

ing bim public notice and some yaJuable friendsbips, tbey 
bave been in some respects an inconvenience and a misfor- 
tune, and betoken conditions tbat do not promise lengtb of 
days ; all tbis witb an unargumenta:tiye simplicity tbat 
speaks strongly of at least sincere conviction on bis own part. 
He sustains tbe cbaracter of tbe Mystic Sensitive tbrougbout 
bis narration, as be bas done tbrougbout tbe first tbirty 
years of bis actual life, witbout falter or besitation ; wbat be 
was at tbe first be is now. It is for tbose wbo would 
attribute all to imposture, to sbow bow a fictitious cbaracter 
can be so perfectly and so enduringly maintained. 

It is also to be remarked tbat tbe facts of Mr. Home's 
life do not rest on bis own averments alone. Tbeir objective 
reality and tbeir freedom from delusion and imposture, are 
certified by an immense number of persons, wbo are bere indi- 
cated by name or otberwise. Some of tbese persons, and 
otbers wbo remain uncited, are of a cbaracter to form a 
strong guarantee for tbe trutb of anytbing to wbicb tbey 
migbt testify. It is often, indeed, remarked, as a marvel of 
a very suggestive kind in tbis our bigbly intellectual age, 
tbat men of knowledge and reflection, of wbom so mucb 
better tbings migbt be expected, are found so weak as to be 
imposed upon by sucb transparent deception, and so foolisb 
as to come forward and bear witness in its bebalf. But of 
course tbis is not reasoning ; it is only begging tbe question. 
Tbe remark migbt be answered by anotber : it is a marvel 
of a bigbly suggestive nature, tbat men of critical judgment 
sbould be so far imposed upon by tbeir self-esteem, tbat tbey 
can cabnly set down a number of men reputedly as judicious as 



INTBODUCTOBY BEHABKB. IX 

themselyes, and whose judgment thej acknowledge, as capable 
of seeing and hearing tliat wluch is not, and never appear to 
suspect that these persons have possibly some real grounds 
for the &ith that is in them. A little modesty would evi- 
dently go a great way to solve the difiBiculty which the in- 
credulous profess to feel on this point. If they would go a 
little farther, and so far yield to the behests of their fsLvourite 
philosophy as to inquire before pronouncing, it might so 
chance that the position of a believer in these phenomena would 
become more intelligible to them. So at least it has already 
happened with a vast number of persons, equally positive at 
starting that the whole was a delusion ; and we are entitled 
to assume that what has been, may be again. Nay, the 
value of the testimony in question in a great measure arises 
from the very fact, that it has been extorted from the reluc- 
tant convictions of a multitude of persons, at one time 
wholly scornful and incredulous regarding the alleged facts. 
It will be rather startling, but yet it may be very plau- 
sibly urged, that the phenomena of Mr. Home's mediumship 
are not opposed to the experience of mankind. On the con- 
trary, fiaicts of this kind have been reported as occurring in 
all ages ; nor is it more than two centuries since they began 
to be doubted. Even during the two centuries of partial 
scepticism, they have continued to be reported as happening 
not less frequently than before. It may be replied, this 
sceptical voice has been the voice of wisdom and truth, 
for the first time heard in the world. Is it really so ? Is 
it not rather a dictum expressive only of an intellectual 
habit — ^the result of the kind of studies during that time 



Z INTBODTTCTOBY BEHABKB. 

cbieflj predominant ? Is it not that, in an exclusive and 
oyermastering devotion to material philosophy, men have 
fallen out of the habit of considering the spiritual part of 
the world, retaining little more than a nominal faith even in 
those spiritual things which their religious creed avouches ? 
Clearly the mere fact of two centuries of partial scepticism 
does not go for much. But then this enlightened spirit has 
penetrated the mystery in so many cases, and shown it to 
be based in nothing but vulgar deception. Has it really 
done so ? Has it not simply flattered itself with illusive 
compliments to its own penetration P One noted instance of 
a person professedly affected as Mr. Home has been, was 
Anne Parsons, a little girl living in Cock Lane, in the city 
of London, in 1762. If there is any case in which detection 
of imposture is triumphantly and unchallengedly assumed, 
it is that of the famous Cock Lane Ghost. Mark the facts 
of the detection. Knbckings and scratchings Vere for a 
couple of years heard in connection with little Anne Far- 
sons, and at length a mode of conversation with the unseen 
agent was hit upon. The so-called ghost averred that a 
woman who recently lived in Parsons's house, and was since 
dead, had been murdered by her quasi-husband, a Mr. Kent. 
It was what Mr. Home would have called a lying spirit. 
The girl being taken to the house of Mr. Ahrich, a clergy- 
man, a party was formed to put to the test a promise of the 
'^ ghost," that it would knock upon the coffin of the de- 
ceased in a vault of St. John's, Clerkenwell, at a certain 
hour in the evening. No knocks occurred — ^lying spirit 
again. Then came the grand stroke in the detection. The 



INTBODUCTOBY BBMABKB. XI 

girl was taken into a stranger's house, put into a bed hung 
clear of the floor, and watched for two nights, during which 
no noises were heard. A result which might be owing 
merely to the deranged conditions, was held by the sapient 
committee of investigation as clear proof of imposture ; but 
they were yet to have evidence more positive. Having be- 
come impatient with the child, they told her on the third 
night, that if the knockings were not heard that night, she 
and her parents would be taken to Newgate ! Under this 
threat, the child took a board into bed with her, was seen to 
do so, (why was such a thing never seen before ?) and soon 
sounds admitted to he different from what happened before, were 
heard. The bed was then searched, the board found, and 
the girl proclaimed as a proved impostor. In this clumsy, 
foolish, and utterly unsatisfactory manner, was the Cock 
Lane Ghost "detected." On no other grounds has the 
&,llacy of the case become the proverb it now is. Now, if 
such be the easy terms on which scepticism assumes its 
greatest triumphs, what importance are we to attach to its 
pronouncements on this subject in instances less important, 
and where it has put forth, (as is the general case) less of 
its strength ? Are they worth the air they cost to make 
them audible P 

There is surely, after all, nothing like a serious impro- 
bability in the spiritual phenomena. We every hour of 
our lives have occasion to acknowledge that there is a 
spirit, an immortal something, in man ; we equally believe 
that this spirit, which does such wonderful things on earth, 
will survive in some other sphere of existence, and not in a 



XU INT&ODTJCTOBY BEMABK8. 

wholly inactive state. Is there anything a priori unlikely 
in the idea that the spirit, which parts with so much that 
is dear to it here, may linger in the scenes of its earthly 
pilgrimage, and desire to hold intercourse with those re- 
maining behind? On the contrary, it seems rather likely 
that the " animula vagula, blandula," will hover about its 
old loves, and, where conditions permit or are favourable, 
will contrive to make itself again seen or at least heard. 
It may be a mere effort of the original social nature ; or 
it may result from a benevolent anxiety for the welfare of 
individuals — ^to inform, to guide, and protect them; or it 
may be a needful part of the frame of things in which 
humanity is established on earth — something required to 
keep us in mind of that world beyond the screen, out 
of which we have come, and to which we are to return. 
It has often, indeed, been urged that the spiritual phe- 
nomena generally are of a Mvolous and useless character, 
doing little more than show that Spiritualism is a truth. 
But spiritualists say, on the other hand, that experimenters 
generally set about their business in a frivolous spirit, 
and only get communications from shades of their own 
character. It will be found that, in the case of Mr. Home, 
who is a man of a religious turn of mind, pure-hearted 
and unworldly, the phenomena are of an elevated character, 
tending to heal sickness, to smooth away sorrow, and to 
chasten and exalt the minds of the living. There is, indeed, 
every reason to believe that if spiritual communications 
were now sought in a suitable frame of mind, results in 
the highest style of sanctitude, rivalling those of the most 



INTBODUCTOBY BEMABKS. XUl 

famous devotees, miglit be obtained. Already, SpirituaUsm, 
conducted as it usually is, has had a prodigious effect 
throughout America, and partly in the Old World also, in 
redeeming multitudes from hardened atheism and material- 
ism, proving to them, by the positive demonstration which 
their cast of mind requires, that there is another world — 
that there is a non-material form of humanity — and that 
many miraculous things which they have hitherto scoffed at, 
are true. 

There remains a great stumbling-block to many, in the 
manner in which the communications are most frequently 
made. It seems below the dignity of a disembodied spirit 
to announce itself and speak by little pulsatory noises on 
a table or wainscot. It might, however, be asked if it be 
not a mere prejudice which leads us to expect that the 
spirit, on being disembodied, suddenly, and of necessity, 
experiences a great exaltation. Take the bulk of mankind 
as they are, and can we really say that there is anything 
derogatory to them in the supposition that, in any cir- 
cumstances, they would talk by noise-signals? We must, 
moreover, remember that we know nothing of the con- 
ditions under which spirits can communicate. This may 
be the most readily available mode in most instances. 
Beyond doubt, in certain circumstances of difficulty, the 
most exalted of living persons might be glad to resort 
to such a mode of telegraphy. In 1828, Signer Andryane, 
the agent of an Italian conspiracy against Austria, was 
thrown into the prisons of the police at Milan, He tells 



XIV INTEODUCTOET EEMAEKS. 

US, in Ills very interesting Memoirs, how, being desirous 
of communicating with the inmate of an adjoining cell, 
he tapped gently on the wall, and after some time had 
his signal answered, " One, two, three — a pause, a, h, c, — 
it was c. Still listening, — one, two, three, four — eight 
blows, — it was h; c h. Slowly, but distinctly, nine blows 
were given : this must mean the letter i, &c." After some 
difiiculties, these two unfortunates succeeded in forming a 
system of communication, in the highest degree useful and 
consolatory to them, by raps on the wall, expressive of 
letters of the Italian alphabet* — ^being precisely the mode 
of communication so largely (though not exclusively) 
adopted by the spirits — ^the favourite subject of ridicule 
to those who are so unfortunate as to take only a super- 
ficial view of this subject, or so unfair as to select what 
in their ignorance they consider as the weakest point. 
If the disembodied find a sort of wall interposed between 
them and the living world with which they desire to 
communicate, what can be more natural than to resort 
to the expedient which was embraced in analogous cir- 
cumstances by these two living prisoners ? Short of the 
use of actual language written or spoken, what better pos- 
sible mode of communication can be suggested P 

There are two points of view in which Mr. Home's 
publication of his experiences appears entitled to praise 
as well as sympathy. Begard it simply as a curious case 

* See " Memoirs of Alexander Andryane,'* translated hj Ferdinando 
Frandi, 2 toIb., 2nd Edition. Kewby, London, 1848. 



INTBODTJCTOBY BEMABR8. XT 

in pathology — for himself to describe it in detail may be 
considered as a useful service to mankind, just as it 
would be considered useful to us to obtain the self-por- 
traiture of any other peculiar case of nervous derangement. 
Ab already stated, such cases are far from being uncommon ; 
but the intelligence and probity required to apprehend 
their character truly, and describe it exactly, is rare. To 
the psycho-pathologist, accordingly, if he can get over 
the disposition to sneer and laugh, and will condescend 
to meet a man as honest as himself on his own 
grounds, this detail may serve to advance an important 
scientific purpose. Even more valuable is the instruction 
to be derived from it by the moralist and the philosophical 
historian. The past is full of such phenomena. Wrongly 
apprehended in the first place by their recipients, they 
have been made the bases of juggling arts; of childish 
mythologies; of superstitious religions; and the means 
of affecting individuals and multitudes to most mischievous 
and illogical conclusions in a thousand different ways. 
Even at the present day, accepted as confirmations of 
sundry doctrines and pretensions, they become the means 
of misleading a vast number of well-intending people. 
While philosophy refuses to see them in their true light, 
it can do nothing to abate or prevent the evil in question, 
for the victim knows too well that the phenomena are 
not, as philosophy would inculcate, unreal. Let philosophy 
see them as they are — a part of the universal frame of 
things, liable like everything else to law, and having a 



XVI INTBODUCTOEY BEMABKS. 

real bearing on the good and evil fortunes of mankind — 
and the weakest would henceforth be safe from all false 
conclusions to be deduced from them. To this good end 
the " candid reader" may find Mr. Home's autobiography a 
valuable contribution. 



-«^ 



INCIDENTS IN MY LIFE. 



CHAPTER I. 

EARL'S LIFE : I BECOME A MEDIUM. 

I WAS bom neaj Edmburgh in March 1833. When I 
was about a year old, I was adopted by an aunt, and 
accompanied her and her husband to America when I 
was about nine years old. I was very delicate as a child, 
and of a highly nervous temperament ; so much so that it was 
not thought that I could be reared. I cannot remember 
when I first became subject to the curious phenomena which 
have now for so long attended me, but my aunt and others 
have told me that when I was a baby my cradle was fre- 
quently*irocked, as if some kind guardian spirit was tending 
me iS^ml^ slumbers. My aunt has also told me that when I 
was about four years old, I had a vision of the circumstances 
attending the passing from earth of a little cousin, I being 
at PortobeUo, near Edinburgh, and she at Linlithgow, all 
which proved to be entirely correct, though I had men- 
tioned persons as being present about her, who it was 
thought could not have been there, and had noticed the 
absence of her father on the water, at a time when it was 
thought that he must be with her at home. 

"When about thirteen years of age, the first vision which 
I distinctly remember occurred. I was, from my delicate 



'Z BABLY LI7E. 

health, unable to join the sports of other boys of my own 
age. I had, a few months before the vision which I am 
about to relate, made the acquaintance of a boy two or 
three years my senior, and somewhat similar to myself both 
in character and organization. We were in the habit of 
reading the Bible together, and upon one occasion, in the 
' month of April, as we had been reading it in the woods, 
and we were both of us silently contemplating the beauties 
of the springing vegetation, he turned to me and said, " Oh, 
I have been reading such a strange story!" and he 
told me a ghost story connected with the family of Lord 
, and which I have since found to be well authen- 
ticated. A portrait of the lady to whom it occurred still 
exists in the family, and is known as the lady with the 

black ribbon. The present Lord , who is of the 

same family, has also told me that he was born in the 
chamber where the spirit appeared. My friend Edwin asked 
me if I thought the story could be true, and I said I did 
not know, but that I had heard strange things of that kind. 
We then agreed that whichever one of us should first be 
called from earth, would, if God permitted it, appear to the 
other the third day afterwards; We read another chapter 
of the Bible together, and we prayed that so it might be to 
us. About a month from this time, I went with my family 
to reside at Troy in the State of New York, a distance 
from Norwich, where Edwin lived, of nearly three hundred 
miles. I had been to spend the evening at the latter end of 
June with some friends, and nothing had occurred during 
the evening to excite my imagination, or to agitate my 
mind ; on the contrary, I was in a calm state. The family 
had retired to rest, and I at once went to my room, 'which 
was so completely filled with the moonlight as to render a 
candle unnecessary. Affcer saying my prayers, I was seated 
on the bed, and about to draw the sheet over me, when a 
sudden darkness seemed to pervade the room. This sur- 
prised me, inasmuch as I had not seen a cloud in the sky ; and 
on looking up I saw the moon still shining, but it was on the 
other side of the darkness, which still grew more dense. 



SABLY LIFB. O 

until tlirougli tlie darkness there seemed to be a gleam of 
light, which I cannot describe, but it was similar to those 
which I and many others have since seen when the room has 
been illuminated by spiritual presence. This light increased, 
and my attention was drawn to the foot of my bed, where 
stood my friend Edwin. He appeared as in a cloud of 
brightness, illumining his face with a distinctness more than 
mortal. His features were unchanged except in brightness, 
and the only difference I saw was that his hair was long, and 
that it fell in wavy ringlets upon his shoulders. He looked 
on me with a smile of ineffable sweetness, then slowly rais- 
ing the right arm, he pointed upward, and making with it 
three circles in the air, the hand began slowly to disappear 
and then the arm, and finally the whole body melted away. 
The natural light of the room was then again apparent. I 
was speechless and could not move, though I retained all 
my reasoning faculties. As soon as the power of move- 
ment was restored, I rang the bell, and the family, think- 
ing I was ill, came to my room, when my first words were, 
" I have seen Edwin — ^he died three days ago at this very 
hour." This was found to be perfectly correct by a letter 
which came a few days afterwards, announcing that after 
only a few hours illness, he had died of malignant dysen- 
tery. 

My mother was a seer throughout her life. She passed 
from earth in the year 1850, at the age of forty-two. She 
had what is known in Scotland as the second sight, and in 
many instances she saw things which were afterwards found 
to have occurred at a distance, just as she had described them. 
She also foresaw many events which occurred in the family, 
and foretold the passing away of relatives, and lastly, she 
foretold her own four months previously. 

I was then seventeen, and was residing at Norwich, Con- 
necticut, and my mother was living at Waterford, near New 
London, twelve miles distant. One day I suddenly felt a 
strong impulse that she wished to see me, and I walked all 
the way in consequence of this impression. When I got home, 
I felt an impression that she had something particular to 

B 2 



4 EARLY LIFE. 

communicate to me tliat evening. When we were alone I 
turned to her and said, " What have you to say to me, mo- 
ther ?" She looked at me with intense surprise, and then a 
smile came over her face, and she said, " Well, dear, it was 
only to tell you that four months from this time, I shall leave 
you." I asked incredulously how she knew, and she said, 
" Your little sister, Mary, came to me in a vision, holding four 
lilies in her hand, and allowing them to slip through her 
fingers one after the other, till the last one had fallen, she 
said, *And then you will come to me.* I asked her 
whether the four lilies signified years, months, weeks, or 
days, and she told me, ' months.' *' I had been deeply 
impressed by this narration, when my mother added, " and 
1 shall be quite alone when I die, and there will not be a 
relative near to close my eyes." This appeared to me to be 
so improbable, not to say impossible, inasmuch as the family 
was a large one, and we had many relatives, that I said to 
her, " Oh, mother, I am so delighted you have told me this, 
because it shews that it must be a false vision." She shook 
her head. Mary was a little sister who had been taken 
from earth under most trying circumstances about four 
years previously. My mother was out for a walk, leaving 
the child at home, and on returning, having to cross a 
running stream, and whilst she was on the bridge over it, 
she saw what appeared to be some loose clothes floating on 
the water, and hastening to the side to see what it was, she 
drew out the body of her child. 

The apparently impossible prophecy was literally fulfilled, 
for by a strange complication of circumstances, my mother 
was taken ill amongst strangers, and a telegram which they 
sent on the last day of the fourth month, announcing her 
serious illness, only reached us about half past eleven in the 
morning. Being myself confined to bed by illness at the 
house of my aunt, and she being unable to leave me, the 
telegram was sent on to my father. That same evening, 
about twilight, being alone in my room, I heard a voice near 
the head of my bed which I did not recognize, saying to me 
solemnly, ** Dan^ twelve o'clock,** I turned my head, and 



EARLY LIFE. 5 

between the window and my bed I saw what appeared to be 
the bust of my mother. I saw her lips move, and again I 
heard the same words, " Ban, twelve o* clock** A third time 
she repeated this, and disappeared from my sight. I was 
extremely agitated, and rang the bell hastily to summon my 
aunt ; and when she came 1 said, " Aunty, mother died to- 
day at twelve o'clock, because I have seen her, and she told 
me." She said, "Nonsense, child, you are ill, and this is 
the effect of a fevered brain." It was, however, too true, as 
my father found on going to see her, that she had died at 
twelve o'clock, and without the presence of a relative to close 
her eyes. 

My mother has also told me that her great uncle, Colin 
TIrquhart, and her imcle, Mr. Mackenzie, were also seers, and 
gifted with the second sight. 

A few months after my mother had passed from earth, 
one night on going to bed, I heard three loud blows on the 
head of my bed, as if struck by a hammer. My first im- 
pression was that some one must be concealed in my room 
to frighten me. They were again repeated, and as they were 
sounding in my ears, the impression first came on me that 
they were something not of earth. After a few moment's 
silence they were again heard, and although I spent a sleep- 
less night, I no longer felt or heard any repetition of them. 
My aunt was a member of the Kirk of Scotland, and I had 
some two years previously, to her great disapprobation, be- 
come a member of the Wesleyan body, but her opposition 
was so violent that I left them to join the Congrega- 
tionalists. On going down to breakfast in the morn- 
ing, she noticed my wan appearance, and taunted me 
with having been agitated by some of my prayer meetings. 
I was about to seat myself at the* breakfast-table, when our 
ears were assailed by a perfect shower of raps all over the 
table. I stopped almost terror-stricken to hear again such 
sounds coming with no visible cause ; but I was soon brought 
back to the realities of life by my aunt's exclamation of 
horror, " So you've brought the devil to my house, have 
you." I ought here to state that there had then been 



b EARLY LIFE. 

some talk of the so-called Eochester knockings through 
the Fox family, but apart from casually hearing of them, I 
had paid no attention to them ; I did not know even what 
they meant. My aunt, on the contrary, had heard of them 
from some of the neighbours, and considered them as some 
of the works of the Evil One. In her uncontrollable anger, 
she seized a chair and threw it at me. Knowing how 
entirely innocent I was of the cause of her unfortunate 
anger, my feelings were deeply injured by her violence, and 
at the same time I was strengthened in a determination to 
find out what might be the cause of these disturbances of 
our morning meal. There were in the village three minis- 
ters, one a Congregationalist, one a Baptist, and the other a 
Wesleyan. In the afternoon, my aunt, her anger at me having 
for the moment caused her to lose sight of her prejudices 
against these rival persuasions, sent for them to consult 
with her, and to pray for me, that I might be freed 
from such visitations. The Baptist minister, Mr. Mussey, 
came first, and after having questioned me as to how I had 
brought these things about me, and finding that I could give 
him no explanation, he desired that we might pray together 
for a cessation of them. Whilst we were thus engaged in 
prayer, at every mention of the Holy names of God and 
Jesus, there came gentle taps on his chair, and in dif- 
ferent parts of the room; whilst at every expression of 
a wish for God's loving mercy to be shewn to us and our 
fellow-creatures, there were loud rappings, as if join- 
ing in our heartfelt prayers. I was so struck, and 
so impressed by this, that there and then, upon my 
knees, I resolved to place myself entirely at God's disposal, 
and to follow the leadings of that which I then felt must be 
only good and true, else why should it have signified its joy 
at those special portions of the prayer ? This was, in fact, 
the turning point of my life, and I have never had cause to 
regret for one instant my determination, though I have 
been called on for many years to suflfer deeply in carrying it 
out. My honor has been called in question, my pride wound- 
ed, *my worldly prospects blighted, and I was turned out of 



EABLY LIFE. 7 

house and home at the age of eighteen, though still a child 
in body from the delicacy of my health, without a friend, 
and with three younger children dependent on me for sup- 
port. Of the other two clergymen, the Oongregationalist 
would not enter into the subject, saying that he saw no 
reason why a pure-minded boy should be persecuted for 
what he was not responsible to prevent or cause, and the 
Methodist was so unkind, attributing it to the devil, and 
treating me as a lost sheep, that I derived no comfort 
from him. ♦ 

Notwithstanding the visits of these ministers, and the 
continued horror of my aunt, which only increased as each 
manifestation was developed, the rappings continued, and 
the furniture now began to be moved about without any 
visible agency. The first time this occurred I was in my 
room, and was brushing my hair before the looking-glass. 
In the glass I saw a chair that stood between me and the 
door, moving slowly towards me. My first feeling was one 
of intense fear, and I looked round to see if there were no 
escape ; but there was the chair between me and the door, 
and still it moved towards me as I continued looking at it. 
When within about a foot of me it stopped, whereupon I 
jumped past it, rushed down stairs, seized my hat in the hall, 
and went out to ponder on this wonderful phenomenon. 

After this, when sitting quietly in the room with my 
aunt and uncle, the table, and sometimes the chairs, and 
other furniture, were moved about by themselves in a sin- 
gular way, to the great disgust and surprise of my rela- 
tions. "CTpon one occasion, as the table was being thus 
moved about of itself, my aunt brought the family Bible, 
and placing it on the table, said, *' There, that will soon 
drive the devils away ;" but to her astonishment the table 
only moved in a more lively manner, as if pleased to bear 
such a burden. Seeing this, she was greatly incensed, and de- 
termining to stop it, she angrily placed her whole weight on 
the table, and was actually lifted up with it bodily from the 
floor. My only consolation at this time was from another aunt, 
a widow, who lived near, whose heart-felt sympathy did much 



8 EABLY LIFE. 

to cheer and console xne. At her house, when I visited her, 
the same phenomena occurred ; and we there first began to 
ask questions, to which we received intelligent replies. The 
spirit of mj mother at her house in this way communicated the 
following : " Daniel, fear not, my child, God is with you, and 
who shall be against you ? Seek to do good : be truthful and 
truth-loving, and you will prosper, my child. Tours is a glo- 
rious nussion — ^you will convince the infidel, cure the sick, and 
console the weeping." This was the first communication I 
ever received, and it came within the first week of these 
visitations. I remember it well. I have never forgotten it, 
and can never forget it while reason and life shall last. I 
have reason to remember it too, because this was the last week 
I passed in the house of the aunt who had adopted me, for 
she was unable to bear the continuance of the phenomena, 
which so distressed her religious convictions, and she felt it 
a duty that I should leave her house, and which I did. 

One of the singular manifestations which occurred during 
this first week, was in connexion with Mrs. Force, a neigh- 
bour. I. should mention that by this time the i\eighbours 
had heard of what was occurring in my presence, and were 
besieging the house in a way that did not tend to sooth the 
religious susceptibilities of my aunt. Being one evening at 
the house of Mrs. Force, the raps were heard, and the alpha- 
bet was used in the way that has now become familiar to 
many. The name of her mother was in this way given, 
announcing her presence, and words were spelt out, reproach- 
ing her with having so long forgotten her half-sister, who 
had been married some thirty years previously to a farmer, 
who removed to the far west, and had not since been heard 
of. Her mother went on by means of the alphabet and the 
raps, to state the name of the town where this daughter by 
a former husband lived, the number of their children, 
and each of their names. Mrs. Force wrote to the ad- 
dress thus given, and received a letter in reply confirming 
every particular; and the family was in this way again 
brought together, and mutual sympathies were interchanged. 
On visiting Mrs. Force the following year, I found that she 



£ARLY LIFE. 9 

had had one of her newly found nephews to visit her 
the previous autumn. 

I go into these particulars not to revive or to cause pain- 
ful recollections to any one, but merely to shew the history 
of my mediumship, and the mysterious working of Provi- 
dence in thus throwing me before the public. Had it not 
been for this chain of circumstances, these truths might have 
remained unknown so widely as they now are. 

Although the manifestations had only lasted a week, 
they had become known not only to the town, but through 
the newspapers they were becoming public all over the New 
England States ; and when I left my aunt's house, I went 
to a neighbouring town, Willimantic, and was received at 
the house of a friend there. Whilst I was with him, these 
phenomena were repeated, and those present investigated 
them in the most determined manner. I find the following 
account of what occurred stated in a newspaper of March, 
1851. 

" At request, the table was moved repeatedly, and in any 
direction that wq asked to have it. All the circle, the 
Medium included, had their hands flat upon the table, and 
we looked several times imder the table while it was in the 
most rapid motion, and saw that no legs or feet had any 
agency in the movement. The table was a large and 
heavy one, without castors, and could not be moved by 
Mr. Hayden in the same manner by all his exertion with his 
hands laid open upon the table. At one time, too, the table 
was moved without the Medium's hands or feet touching it a4 
dU, At our request, the table was turned over into owr lap. 
The table was moved, too, while Mr. Hayden was 1/rying to hold 
it still! Mr. Hayden took hold of the top at first, and 
£ailing that way, he grasped the leg, and held with all his 
strength. The table did not move so freely as before. It 
would move a little way from Mr. Hayden, and then the 
invisible power would suddenly relax its effort, when it would 
spring back with the exertion of Mr. Hayden." 

I was then eighteen years old, and on seeing this article 
which made me so public, I shrank from so prominent a posi- 



10 BABLY LIFE. 

tion with all the earnestness of a sensitiye mind ; but I now 
found myself finally embarked without any volition of my 
own, and indeed, greatly against my will, upon the tempes- 
tuous sea of a public life. From this time I never had a mo- 
ment to call my own. In sickness or in health, by day or 
night, my privacy was intruded on by all comers, some from 
curiosity, and some from higher motives. Men and women of 
all classes, and all countries ; physicians and men of science, 
ministers of all persuasions, and men of literature and of 
art, all have eagerly sought for the proofs of this great and 
absorbing question of the possibility of spiritual causes acting 
on this world of nature. For myself, I have no apology to 
offer for the occurrence of these unwonted manifestations in 
my own case. As will have been seen, they came to me quite 
unsought, and with all the impleasant and painful accompani- 
ments which I have described. I have not, and never had 
the slightest power over them, either to bring them on, or to 
send them away, or to increase, or to lessen them. What 
may be the peculiar laws under which they have become 
developed in my person, I know no more than others. 
Whilst they occur I am not conscious of the mode by which 
they are produced, nor of the sort of manifestation that is 
about to occur. Any peculiar sensations that I may expe- 
rience during certain of the manifestations, I will describe 
as far as I can, while mentioning the visions or external 
phenomena. Beyond being of a highly nervous organization, 
there is nothing peculiar about me that I am aware of; but 
I continue to have delicate health, and I firmly believe that 
had it not been for these phenomena, I could not have lived 
till now. In this belief many physicians of high standing 
have given their testimony to bear me out. Frequently 
during the most severe visitations of illness, my pains have 
been suddenly soothed in a mysterious way, and many times 
when it would have been impossible to have moved me in 
bed, for fear of increased haemorrhage from the lungs, my 
head has been slowly lifted, and my pillow has been ' 
turned by unseen hands. This has been repeatedly wit- 



EABLY LIFE. 11 

nessed by many persons. Especially, I would say, that I do 
not on this account or on any other, consider myself morally 
superior to others, nor should any one believe that these 
phenomena come to me, or to others, on account of moral or 
immoral qualities. On the contrary, with the great bless- 
ings which have been showered on me, and the ineffable 
proofs which I have received of God's providence and good- 
ness to me, I feel myself only worse than others that I 
should have made so little progress in the path of good. I 
have to thank God for many kind friends, not less than for 
many bitter enemies, since they keep my mind in an equi- 
librium, and do not suffer me to feel any pride, at what 
is no doubt but an accident, so to speak, of my organiza- 
tion. 

These extraordinary occurrences have, with some excep- 
tions, continued with me ever since the time I have stated 
as their commencement, and they have extended their range, 
to my astonishment not less than to that of others, in the 
most striking manner. They have proved to me and to 
thousands of careful and able investigators, the existence of 
spiritual forces which are calculated to revolutionize the cur- 
rent ignorance both of philosophy and of theology, as men 
have made them. The exceptions to which I refer have 
been of periods during which the power has left me 
entirely; for instance, from the 10th of February, 1856, 
to the 10th of February, 1857, during which time I had no 
external token of spirit power, though I on several occasions 
had visions, one of which was my seeing the manner in 
which a brother passed from earth. He was frozen in the 
Polar Seas whilst out bear-shooting with the captain and 
officers of his ship. Falling into a fissure of the ice, he 
was not found till the following morning. I saw all this in 
a vision at the very time of its occurrence, and informed my 
family of it five months before the confirmation of the intelli- 
gence arrived. On several other occasions, the power has ceased 
for shorter periods, and generally I have been told before- 
hand, both of the times of its cessation and return. I 



12 EARLY LIFE. 

could never detect any pliysical cause for such cessation, nor 
any difference in my general feelings or health, although the 
reason given for the withdrawal has commonly been on the 
ground of health. Upon several occasions, however, the 
reason given was that it was withdrawn from me as a re- 
proof for having done that which I knew to be wrong. 



13 



CHAPTEE n. 

BEPOBE THE WOBLD. 

I REMAINED in Willimantic bnt a short time, and then I 
went to Lebanon, a few miles off. There I was received 
in the family of an old resident. After I had been with 
them a few days, I saw a spirit who called himself Uncle 
Tilden. I asked a lady, a member of the family, if she 
recognized the name, but before she had time to make 
answer, the spirit made signs to me that he did not wish 
the lady to tell the name, and that he would come on an- 
other occasion to me, when he could have more perfect 
control. In the course of a few days he came whilst I was 
entranced, and signified that certain papers which his family 
had been seeking for years, and for which they had given 
up tbe searcb as hopeless, would be found in a house which 
he described as situate near Cleveland, Ohio. They were the 
title-deeds of some land which had become valuable for 
building purposes, and out of which a lady was entitled to 
her thirds, but which by reason of the loss of the deeds, 
were withheld from her, and she was in consequence living 
in very straitened circumstances. He described to them 
minutely through me the part of the garret, and the form 
of the box in which they would be found. Her son was 
written to with these particulars ; the search was made, and 
the deeds were found as described. 

The second week of my stay at Lebanon, I had been to 
pass a day or two with an English family residing about 
three miles off. One afternoon I suddenly became uncon- 



14 BEFORE THE WORLD. 

scions or entranced, and on awaking, the lady of the house 
told me that I had been speaking with some spirit, who 

directed me to proceed at once to the house of a Mr. B . 

I had seen two brothers of this name one evening a week 
previously, and no interchange of visits had been made or 
proposed, and I felt that it would be most awkward for me 
to call on them, saying only that I had been sent by my unseen 
friends. The distance was also six miles from where I then 
was, and three miles of the journey I would have to walk. 
I knew that when I returned to my friends at Lebanon, 
I could have their conveyance ; but still I had not any 
inclination to pay the visit. As soon as this was fully 
decided in my mind, I was again made unconscious, and on 
recovering, I was told that I had received strict injunctions to 
leave at once, though no reason was assigned why I should go. 
I then felt, however, that the order ought to be obeyed, 
and I went to my room for the purpose of dressing for the 
journey. While there, my reasoning faculties again assumed 
the ascendancy, and I thought that if I were thus sent, I 
ought at least to know for what purpose. However, I soon 
again felt myself impelled by a force far superior to mine, and 
which to have even attempted to resist would have been folly. 
On leaving the house, all this left me, and I walked the three 
miles to Lebanon, wondering what could be the cause of this 
singular errand. On arriving, I stated to my friends there 
all that had occurred, and they also thought it would have 
been quite as well to have ascertained why I had been sent. 
Finding that they agreed with me in this, I now again fully 
determined to proceed no farther, but I was quickly made 
insensible, and on awaking I found that orders had been 
given by the family to have a horse saddled, and that I was 
admonished in a gentle but firm manner, for my want of Faith 
and overweening curiosity, whereas I ought, I was told, to 
have followed as a child would its teacher, or an indulgent 
parent. 

Before I left the house to complete the journey, the sun 
had set, and now rain laden clouds were fast overshadowing 
the sky. The road was lonely, and for the month of April 



BEFORE THE WOBLD« 15 

the weather was uncommonly chill. I had agreed in my 
mind that my guardians had been teaching me a usefiil 
lesson, and I resolved that thenceforward I would not seek 
to know their purposes. In this frame of mind I reached 
what I knew from description must be the house of Mr. 

B , and as I was about to dismount, the first rain drop 

fell on my ungloved hand, and with the contact came the 
most vivid impression that Mr. B ^'s mother was danger- 
ously ill. 1 rang the bell, and Mr. B having seen me, came 

himself to open the door. As he did so, I said, " Your mother 
is ill, and I have been sent to say what will relieve her." His 
look of intense surprise baffles description, as he said, " How 
on earth could you have known of her illness, as it is 
only an hour since she fell ill, and we have sent in another 
direction for a medical man, but I fear he will not 
arrive in time to save my poor mother, as she seems sinking 
so rapidly." On entering the house, I stood waiting to 
see what impression I might receive. Whilst I was stand- 
ing, I was thrown suddenly into a trance, and I was told by 

Mr. B that in that state I led the way to his 

mother's bed-room, and that after making a few passes 
over her with my hands, the acute pains left her, 
and that in a few minutes time she was in a quiet 
sleep. Whilst in the trance, I also mentioned simple remedies 
of herbs for immediate use, and others for continued use. 
I was then led by the unseen power into the sitting room, 
and there returned to my normal state, greatly surprised 
when these things were related to me. The doctor arrived 
in about an hour, to find his patient quite out of danger, 
and on examining her, he said that from the nature and 
violence of the attack, it would in all probability have been 
fatal, had steps not been taken at once to alleviate the 
symptoms. A letter written a few weeks after to a friend by 

Mr. B , says that his " mother has not had such health 

for eighteen years past, as she now enjoys; she follows 
implicitly all the instructions given through Daniel, and the 
effect is magical." 

I remained in Lebanon till the month of June, having 



16 BEFORE THE WOELD. 

Stances nearly every day, my medimnship principally consist- 
ing of visions, movements of the table and of furniture without 
my touching them, and of the rapping sounds through which 
intelligent messages were received. Whilst there, in the 
beginning of June, all these external manifestations ceased 
entirely, and I left Lebanon about the middle of June on a 

visit to Mr. G at Boonton, New Jersey. I had still 

visions frequently of the spirit friends of persons who were 
perfect strangers to me, describing their appearance ; and the 
spirits gave me their names, and the dates of their departure 
from earth, with answers to other questions of a test nature 
which their relatives asked. These came to me whilst I was 
in an abnormal or trance state, and in which I was uncoil 
scious of natural surroundings, but with a facility of speech 
far superior, as I was told, to that of my ordinary condition^ 
and through which I transmitted with readiness the replies of 
the spirits to the questions asked of them. I was so exceed- 
ingly sensitive at this time, that the playing of sacred music 
would frequently throw me into the trance state, in which I am 
always in companionship with spirit friends, and that in as 
perfect and palpable a manner, as in my ordinary external state 
I am with my friends of this world. Through these means 
hundreds of persons became convinced of the truth of spiritual 
communion, and found their sceptical tenets no longer 
available. I then found, as I still find, that all honest, deep- 
rooted scepticism rather calls out tfian prevents the proofs 
of which it stands so much in need ; and atheists, deists, 
and infidels were thus often brought to a belief in Pro- 
vidence and direct spirit guidance. 

About the middle of July 1851, I went to Brooklyn, New 
York, on a visit to Mr. C . Whilst here I had the plea- 
sure of first meeting the learned and good G-eorge Bush, an 
eminent theologian and Professor of Hebrew and Oriental lan- 
guages at New York. Professor Bush was quite prepared to 
acknowledge the possibility of such phenomena from his ac- 
quaintance with the writings of Swedenborg, and with the sub- 
ject of Mesmerism, and the spiritual experiences of Jung Stil- 
ling and others. He was also a profoundly learned man, with a 



BEFORE THE WORLD. 17 

more open and cliild-like mind than often hS\a to tlie lot of 
those with so much worldly knowledge. He had made, 
moreover, the greatest sacrifiGes, by giving np his worldly 
prospects in the Church, in consequence of avowing his belief 
in Swedenborg's works. Professor Bush took a deep interest 
in observing the mental phenomena which occurred 
through me, though there were no external manifestations. 
The communications he received were of such a nature as 
to leave no manner of doubt on his mind, as to the real pre- 
sence with us of those who had gone before. Amongst other 
names, he told me that I had given him that of an old school- 
fellow, whom he had forgotten for many years, and that this 
school-fellow referred to a dream which the Professor had 
had on the very night on which the boy had passed from 
earth, although he was not then aware even of the boy's 
illness. The spirit of the boy now told through me the 
whole of the Professor's dream, which was that whilst they 
were playing together, he suddenly saw his school-fellow 
taken from him, and heard his voice saying, " I leave you, 
George, but not for ever." A dream of forty years pre- 
viously, was thus brought to his remembrance. The 
Professor was so strongly impressed with this, that he called 
on me the next day, and wished to have me reside with 
him for the purpose of studying for the Swedenborgian 
ministry. I went to his house, with the intention of so 
doing, but within forty-eight hours I saw in my waking 
state the spirit of my mother, who said to me, " My son, you 
must not accept this kind offer, as your mission is a more 
extended one than pulpit preaching." On seeing the good 
Professor, I told him of this spirit message. He expressed 
regret, but no surprise, and so I returned to my friend, Mr. 
C , and remained with him till the end of August. I fre- 
quently afterwards saw Professor Bush, with whom the most 
kindly intercourse was interchanged. Here again in New 
York many were convinced. 

I returned to Lebanon, but I was not able to see any 
strangers on account of my very delicate health, and in the 
month of September my young friend, the son of Mrs. E , 



18 BETOBE THE WOELD. 

fell ill, and I saw the spirit of his father, whom I had not 
known on earth, though I had frequently seen him, and 
received communications from him both in the trance and 
waking state, on my former visit to Lebanon. He came to 
me whilst I was alone in my room, and standing near me, 
said, " Ezra will be with me within three weeks — go to 

him." I was then staying with a Mr. F , about three 

miles from the boy. I obeyed the spirit message, and 
went at once, and found Ezra ill. He wished me to 
stay with him, but the family thought it was a passing 
illness, and that I might prolong my visit for a few 
days to Mr. F. I did not tell them what I had seen, and 
in about four days afterwards they sent for me to 
come to them, as Ezra was worse. I went, and with his 
sister I took care of him, till his departure, which occurred 
on the nineteenth day of his illness. He was about 
eighteen, and had become conversant with the facts of spirit 
intercourse through me a few months before, and had him- 
self become a partial medium, receiving occasional communi- 
cations, principally from his father, by means of the rapping 
and the alphabet. Soon after my first visiting him in his 
illness, on his sister leaving the room for a moment, he took 
the opportunity of telling me with perfect composure, that 
he knew he should not recover, as he had been told by raps 
on his pillow, by his father, that this was his last illness- 
This extraordinary composure remained with him through- 
out, and I had told the family ten days before of my vision, 
which prepared them for the coming change. About two 
days before his leaving us, the doctor asked me to break it 
to him, when I informed him that Ezra had been long aware 
of it. He doubted this, from seeing him so composed, and 
I desired him to stand at the door and hear what I would 
say to Ezra. I then went to his bed, and told him that the 
doctor had left some news for him. He laughingly said, 
" I suppose it is to tell me that I am going. Little does he 
imagine that I have already decided who my bearers are to 
be." The doctor now came into the room, and taking his 
hand, said, " My dear boy, if I had not heard this, I could 



BEFORE THE WOELD. 19 

not have belieyed it. Tou have everything to make life 
happy, and yet you are so willing to leave it." A few hours 
afber this, a deacon of the church visited him, who was much 
opposed to these things, to the extent even of telling un- 
truths and misrepresentations. He argued with the dying 
boy, trying to take away his happy belief, but fortimately 
without the slightest success. The boy told him that he 
willingly placed all his hope in the hands of an allwise God, 
and that he felt that the change would be most happy for him. 
The last evening of his stay on earth, several persons came 
to the house, and I was told by one of them that it was for 
the purpose of watching to see if he did not recant or turn 
coward at the last. I told this to Ezra, and he requested 
that they should be brought into his room, where I left them 
for a few hours' rest. At half-past one in the morning, 
Ezra sent for me, and I found them still there, he having 
been speaking with them great part of the time. In speak- 
ing to his mother, he said, " Only think, dear mother, I 
shan't be lame there." He had been lame since he was six 
months old. He asked me to look out of the window, 
and to tell him what kind of morning it was. I told him 
it was bright moonlight, and he recalled to me a conversa- 
tion we had had some months previously, in which he said 
he should like to pass away in the moonlight, whilst I had 
said I should wish to go at sunset. He expressed a wish that 
no one should wear mourning for him. He asked me to take 
his hand, and whilst I held it, his face suddenly assumed a 
beatified expression, and he pronounced my name, as if 
calling me to witness some happy vision passing before his 
eyes, and the breathing ceased. 

This is one of the many happy death-beds which I have 
witnessed, and such consolation given at a time like this 
is sufficient proof of the loving wisdom of our Heavenly 
Father in allowing such things to take place. Some may be 
surprised to find an apparent prophecy in this cas^ given both 
to the boy and to me, but perhaps a larger view of spiritual 
insight may teach us that such is only apparent to us in this 
natural sphere, and that to those who have spiritual insight 

G 2 



20 BEFORE THE WOBLD. 

and percex)tioii8, there probably was some bodily change in 
his organism which made clear to those in the spiritual state 
the mortal character of his disease. Since his departure, he 
has been frequently present with me, impressing me to write 
messages to his mother and sister. Sometimes my hand has 
been taken possession of apparently by him, and used in writ- 
ing his own autograph. In a letter received from his sister 
dated the 9th of February, 1852, she says, " Ezra was with you 
to a certainty when you were writing, for that is his auto- 
graph and chirography ; the kindness of the advice almost 
overwhelms me, when I think now spirits watch over and 
comfort us." 

The following is an account taken from a newspaper of 
other manifestations at this time. 

" After several communications had been spelled out, a 
request was made that the table might be moved, in order 
to convince some present who were sceptical. Accordingly 
very soon slight movements were perceptible, which soon 
became very rapid. A light was placed upon the floor 
under the table, and one remained on the table. Our hands 
were raised so that the ends of our fingers only touched. 
One end was then moved up so th9>t it was poised on the 
two opposite legs upon an elevation in the floor, and in this 
position it remained for awhile, keeping time with music, by 
rocking; and in the same way questions were answered, 
three movements being considered an affirmative, and one a 
negative ; and after numerous questions were given and as 
many satisfactory answers received, three gentle raps were 
heard at the door by a part of the company, and the 
question was asked if any one was rapping at the door P and 
immediately three decided movements of the table were 
made, and accompanying them were three more decided 
raps at the door. 

" An emphatic call for the alphabet followed, and spelled 
out, * Spirits — Door ;' the question was asked if there were 
spirits at the door who wished to come in ? Three raps. 

" It was suggested that they were to help in moving the 
table, and an affirmative reply immediately followed. 'J'hen 



BEFOBE THE WOSLB. 21 

commenced larger and more decided moYements — ^tbe table 
being slid freely about the floor, and raised alternately one 
side and then the other several inches ; and at one time it 
was raised nearly to an angle of forty-flve degrees, poised on 
two side legs, and then by oscillating movements the time 
was correctly kept to several tunes sung by the company. 

" Several unsuccessful attempts were made to bring the 
table to the floor, which were relinquished for the fear of break- 
ing the leaves. By request it was carefully let down on to 
one side, and in a moment raised again to its proper posi- 
tion. One of the company then seated himself upon the 
table, and it was moved about and raised up so as to render 
it necessary for him to hold on, and this, too, with as much 
ease apparently as before. Again, by request, it was slid 
while one was pushing against it in an opposite direction to 
the utmost of his strength." 

I remained in Lebanon up to the end of January, 1852 ; the 
physical manifestations having spontaneously returned in 
October previously, and with increased power, and with the 
new phase of unseen hands touching me and others with 
whom I was sitting. We frequently were touched by them, 
and on some occasions^a spirit hand was placed within our 
hands as palpably as if it were a real living hand, though 
invisible to us. It would remain quietly in our hands until 
we tried to close them upon it, and even then it was not 
withdrawn, but as it were melted away in our grasp. 

I went to Springfield, Massachussets, an entire stranger, 
but having heard of Mr. Henry Gordon, a medium there, I 
asked for and was directed to his house. He received me 
most kindly, and said that he was about to have a stance 
that evening, requesting me to join them. I did so, but the 
contending influences prevented the occurrence of manifesta- 
tions. Those who were there assembled had to leave at an 
early hour, and Mr. Gordon accompanied them, leaving me 
with five or six of his friends who had come in in the mean- 
time. Among these were Mr. and Mrs. Elmer, the former 
being a believer, but Mrs. Elmer having violently opposed 
it. I was thrown into a trance, made to sit near her, telling 



22 BEFOEE THE WOELD. 

her the names of her mother, father, brothers, and sisters ; 
then of her children, all of whom were in the spirit world ; 
and I repeated to her the last words of two of her children. 
Turning to an older lady in the room, I did the same 
and so on through all those who were present. Mr. 
and Mrs. Elmer have since been my friends, and at 
their house some most remarkable manifestations occurred. 
I stayed with them for some time, and great interest was 
excited by the accounts given by the very numerous witnesses 
who came to see the manifestations. Whilst here the power 
was very strong, and frequently I had stances six or seven 
times a day, at each of which as many were present as could 
be accommodated. Their house was besieged by visitors, 
and often outside in the street there was a concourse of 
anxious inquirers. People came from a distance, even from 
the extreme west and south of America, having seen the 
accounts given of me in the newspapers of the previous year. 
It was here that one of the Professors of the University of Har- 
vard came and joined some friends in a rigid investigation 
of the phenomena, and after several sittings they published 
the following statement of the result of their investigations. 

THE MODEBN WONDEE — A MANIFESTO. 

The undersigned, from a sense of justice to the parties re- 
ferred to, very cordially bear testimony to the occurrence of the 
following facts, which we severally witnessed at the house of 
Eufus Elmer, in Springfield, on the evening of the 6th inst : — 

1. The table was moved in every possible direction, and 
with great force, when we could not perceive any cause of 
motion. 

2. It (the table) was forced against each one of us so 
powerfully as to move us from our positions — together with 
the chairs we occupied — in all, several feet. 

3. Mr. Wells and Mr. Edwards took hold of the table in 
such a manner as to exert their strength to the best advan- 
tage, but found the invisible power, exercised in an opposite 
direction, to be quite equal to their utmost efforts. 

4. In two instances, at least, while the hands of all the 



BEFORE THE WOELD. Z6 

members of the circle were placed on the top of the table — 
and while no visible power was employed to raise the table, 
or otherwise to move it from its position — it was seen to rise 
clear of the floor y cmd to float in the atmosphere for several 
seconds, as if sustained hy some denser medium than air. 

5. Mr. Wells seated himself on the table, which was rocked 
for some time with great violence, and at length, it poised 
itself on the two legs, and remained in this position for some 
thirty seconds, when no other person was in contact with it. 

6. Three persons, Messrs. Wells, Bliss and Edwards as- 
sumed positions on the table at the same time, and whUe 
thns seated, the table was moved in various directions. 

7. Occasionally we were made conscious of the occurrence 
of a powerfol shock, which produced a vibratory motion of 
the floor of the apartment in which we were seated — it 
seemed like the motion occasioned by distant thunder or the 
firing of ordnance £af away — causing the table, chairs, and ' 
other inanimate objects, and all of us to tremble in such a 
manner that the effects were both seen and felt. 

8. In the whole exhibition,, which was £a>r more diversified 
than the foregoing specification would indicate, we were 
constrained to admit that there was an almost constant 
manifestation of some intelligence which seemed, at least, to 
be independent of the circle. 

9. In conclusion, we may observe, that Mr. D. D. Home, 
frequently urged us to hold his hands and feet. Du- 
ring these occurrences the room was well lighted, the 
lamp was frequently placed on and under the table, and 
every possible opportunity was afforded us for the closest in- 
spection, and we admit this one emphatic declaration : We 
know that we were not imposed upon nor deceived. 

Wm. Bbyant, 
B. K Bliss, 
Wm. Edwards, 
David A. Wells. 
The following account also is given in the " Shekinah" of 
1852, of manifestations occurring at this time, which will 
shew the power which they had then acquired. 



24 BEFORE THE WOBLD. 

"On the 28tli day of Febiniary, 1852, while the 
undersigned were assembled at the residence of Mr. 
Eufus Elmer, Springfield, Mass., for the purpose of ma- 
king critical experiments in the so-called spiritual mani- 
festations^ the following, among other remarkable demon- 
strations of power, occurred in a room thoroughly illumi- 
nated. The table, around which we were seated, was 
moved by an invisible and unknown agency, with such irre- 
sistible force that no one in the circle could hold it. 
Two men — standing on opposite sides and grasping it at the 
same time, and in such a manner as to have the greatest 
possible advantage — could not, by the utmost exercise of 
their powers, restrain its motion. In spite of their exer- 
tions the table was moved from one to three feet. Mr. 
Elmer inquired if the Spirits could disengage or relax the 
hold of Mr. Henry Foulds ; when suddenly, and in a man- 
ner wholly unaccountable by us, Mr. Foulds was seated on 
the floor at a distance of several feet from the table, having 
been moved so gently, and yet so instantaneously, as scarcely 
to be conscious of the fact. It was proposed to further test 
this invisible power, and accordingly five men, whose united 
weight was eight hundred and fifty-five pounds stood on a 
table (without castors) and the table, while the men 
were so situated, was repeatedly moved a distance of from 
four to eight inches. The undersigned further say that they 
were not conscious of exerting any power of will at the time, 
or during any part of the exhibition ; on the contrary they 
are quite sure that the exercise of the will is a serious im- 
pediment to such manifestations. 

" At the close of these experiments it was perceived, on 
lifting one end of the table, that its weight would increase 
or diminish, in accordance with our request. Apprehending 
that the supposed difference might be justly attributable to 
fancy, or to some unconscious variation in the manner of 
applying the motive power, it was proposed to settle the 
question by weighing the end of the table. At the first 
experiment it required a force equal to nineteen pounds to 
raise the end of the table. This was fairly tested to the 



BEFOBE THE WOBLD. 25 

entire satisfaction of all present. The spirits were then re- 
quested to apply the invisible power. The balance was now 
applied in precisely the same manner as before, when the 
weight was found to have been suddenly increased from six 
to twelve pounds, varying as the mysterious force was in- 
creased and diminished, so that it now required a force of 
from twenty-five to thirty-one pounds to separate the legs of 
the table from the floor. Mr. Daniel D. Home was the 
medium on this occasion, and it is worthy of remark that 
during the performance of the last experiment, he was out 
of the room, and in the second story of the house, while 
the experiment was conducted in the back parlor below. 

" The undersigned are ready and willing, if reqtiired, to 
make oath to the entire correctness of the foregoing state- 
ment." . 

The original paper was signed by John D. Lord, Eufus 
Elmer, and nine others, living at Springfield, Mass. 

The account proceeds : " Lights are produced in dark rooms. 
Sometimes there appears a gradual illumination, sufficient to 
disclose very minute objects, and at others, a tremulous 
phosphorescent light gleams over the walls, and odic emana- 
tions proceed firom human bodies, or shoot meteor-like 
through the apartment. These phenomena are of frequent 
occurrence, and are not accounted for by any material hypo- 
thesis, unless, indeed, they could be comprehended under the 
popular generalization which ascribes the whole to human 
fraud and delusion. I have seen these lights in all their 
variety. On one occasion, when a number of friends were 
assembled at my own house, there occurred a gradual illu- 
mination of the apartment. It appeared lika the twilight 
half an hour after the dawn. The light continued to in- 
crease for about fifteen minutes, and then it gradually dimi- 
nished. 

" On the 30th of March I chanced to be one of a company 
convened at the house of Mr. Elmer in Springfield, Mass. — 
Mr. Home being present — ^when the room was darkened to 
see if the mysterious illumination would occur. Imme- 
diately the gross darkness began to be dissipated, and in a 



26 BEFOBE THE WOBLB. 

few minutes, the forms of all the persons in the room were 
distinctly yisible. Without disclosing her purpose to any 
one, Mrs. Elmer mentally requested that the spirits would 
restore the darkness, and, almost instantly, the change was 
perceived by the whole company, and soon every form was 
lost in the deepening gloom," 

This was the first appearance of these spirit lights that I 
had seen when others were present, though I had several 
times seen them when by myself, since their appearance on 
my first vision of Edwin as before described. Although the 
physical manifestations had increased, and were so con* 
tinuous, yet the internal power of vision had not left me, 
as will be seen from the following, which was published and 
signed by Mr. S. B. Brittan of New York, to whom occurred 
the fact which he describes. 

" Last winter while spending a few days at the house of 
Mr. Eufas Elmer,' Sprin^eld, I became acquainted with Mr. 
Home. One evening, Mr. Home, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer, and 
I were engaged in general conversation, when suddenly, and 
most unexpectedly to us all, Mr. Home was deeply en- 
tranced. A momentary silence ensued, when the medium 
said '' Hannah Brittan is here !" I was surprised at the an- 
nouncement, for I had not even thought of the person indi- 
cated for many days, or perhaps months, and we parted for 
alltime when I was but a little child. I remained silent, 
but mentally inquired how I might be assured of her actual 
presence. Immediately Mr Home began to exhibit signs 
of the deepest anguish. Bising from his seat he walked to 
and fro in the apartment, wringing his hands, and exhibiting 
a wild and frantic manner and expression. He groaned in 
spirit, and audibly, and offcen smote his forehead and uttered 
incoherent words of prayer. He addressed me in terms of ten- 
derness, and sighed and uttered bitter lamentations. Ever 
and anon, he gave utterance to expressions like the following : 

" * Oh, how dark ! What dismal clouds ! What a fright- 
ful chasm ! Deep — down — far down ! — I see the fiery flood ! 
Hold ! Stay ! — Save them from the pit I Tm in a terrible 
labyrinth ! I see no way out ! There's no light ! How 



BEFOBE THE WOBLD. 27 

wild ! — gloomy ! The clouds roll in upon me ! The dark- 
ness deepens ! My head is whirling ! Where am I ! — ' 

*' During this exciting scene, which lasted perhaps half an 
hour, I remained a silent spectator, the medium was un- 
conscious, and the whole was inexplicable to Mr. and Mrs. 
Elmer. The circumstances occurred some twelve years 
before the birth of Mr. Home. No person in all that 
region knew aught of the history of Hannah Brittan, or 
that such a person ever existed. But to me the scene was 
one of peculiar and painful significance. She was highly 
gifted by nature, and endowed with the tenderest sen- 
sibilities. She became insane from believing in the doc- 
trine of endless punishment, and when I last saw her, the 
terrible reality, so graphically depicted in the scene I have 
attempted to describe, was present, in all its moumfal 
details, before me ! 

" Thirty years have scarcely dimmed the recollection of the 
scene which was thus re-enacted to assure me of the actual 
presence of the spirit. That spirit has since informed me 
that her present life is calm, peaceful and beautiful, and 
that the burning gulf, with all its horrible imagery, existed, 
only in the traditions of men, and in the fitful wanderings 
of her distracted brain," 

At Springfield, also, there were many instances of the 
sick being healed. I was so sensitive to any one who came 
near me in a diseased state, that I not only myself felt but 
accurately described their symptoms, and the seat and causes 
of the disease. One case which I remember was that of a 
person who had been ill for many years with no apparent 
cause. I brought to his mind an accident which had oc- 
curred to him some years previously, and which I was im- 
pressed to tell him was the cause of his suffering. When 
he applied to a surgeon and related the circumstance, the 
surgeon told him that I had been no doubt correct in attri- 
buting his illness to that accident. My own suffering in 
sympathy with other people's illness was often so great, and 
was indeed so frequent, that I was often warned by my 
spirit friends against coming in contact with sick persons. 



28 BEFOBE THE WOBLD. 

In May, 1862, I went to New York, and was at once 
received bj investigators of the phenomena, mediums 
having increased largely in number, both in public and 
private circles. My days and nights were fully occupied 
by investigators of all classes and conditions. The follow- 
ing account of what he witnessed is given in the words of 
Dr. Hallock, a physician of New York. 

" Two communications, spoken through Mr. Home as a 
medium, were read by the Secretary. They were given on | 

the 10th inst., at the house of Mr. Partridge. The first 
was preceded by physical manifestations, intended to iden- 
tify the spirit about to communicate. The second em* 
braces several topics. j 

" Mr. H6me said, a male and female were present, who 
wished to commune with Mr. P. 

" Directly, sounds and motions were made as of a violent 
storm — the roaring and whistling of the wind, the rushing 
of water, and the breaking of waves — sounds as if a vessel 
was straining at her anchor and laboring in a heavy sea, | 

amid which she was held by her chain cables — ^her joints | 

creaking, and she rolling from side to side. The picture of i 

a shipwreck was so true, that it made the cold chills 
run over me. The medium spoke of a boat with ma- 
chinery in it, and went through the motions of dying 'mid 
the raging waters and a dark storm. The Spirit making 
these demonstrations to identify her presence, is one whose 
life was lost by the wreck of the steamer Atlantic, in No- 
vember, 1849. She gave the following commimication : 

" * But, oh ! it was not death ! Bright spirits were hover- 
ing around, and bore me to their happy home ; but it would 
be no home to us, if we were not permitted to return and 
watch over our dear friends we have left behind. 

" ' To me, the storm has passed and gone, and with it 
went all the storms of life. From that breaking barque, I 
passed to one the winds could not beat. It was anchored 
home in the heavens, and my spirit was nearer God — ^more 
easily developed, and was amid influences more pure and 
holy, just what they ought to be for man's advancement. 



BEFOBB THE WOBLD. 29 

'* ' Kindness never goes unrewarded ; and for yours, she 
wishes to express her deep obligation^ not thanks merely, hut 
a deep and abiding sense of it. 

" * Be upright and kind, and it will prepare you for 
brighter spheres. 

" * Be patient, as God is. Think of His forbearance, for 
ages past, with the blindness, the hardness, the perversity 
of man. If man had possessed His power, he would, in his 
impatience, long since have annihilated earth and all which 
inhabit it. 

" * Think not of the grave. To us, it is past and forgotten. 
To you, it is but an entrance into a new and more glorious 
existence. 

" * Oft in the silent night, when the busy toils of life are 
hushed and the mind is at rest from its cares, we hover 
around and watch over you, happy, indeed, at being able 
then to impress our presence upon you.* 

" The question is often asked, Why have not these mani- 
festations occurred before? Why has not God illumined 
ages past with these wonderful manifestations of His provi- 
dence ? The reason is obvious. When a little light has 
been from time to time thrown down, like the feeble rays of 
a far-off star across the gloom of night, men have shut it 
up in darkness ! They have been enveloped in self and 
shrouded in scepticism ! They think the age of miracles 
has ceased! Another cause why these things have not 
occurred in past ages was, the persecution of mediums — it 
was perceived that men would torture them. It alarmed 
the superstitious fears of the community. The mediums 
were charged with being witches, and in league with the 
Devil ! I see them on trial, then taken to the scaffold and 
the stake, and I hear spirit foot-sounds accompanying them. 
The younger, more vigorous and more positive state of their 
accusers, under zeal for God and the good of his church, 
has made them admit themselves to be wliai they were not. 
Their defenceless, negative condition, makes them an easy prey 
to the will-power of their judges and accusers. Now, I per- 
ceive the sorrow of those spirits who were not sufficiently 



30 BEFOBE THE WOBLD. 

developed to foresee the catastrophe as the higher spirits 
did. They are comforting them in their last earthly agony ; 
and, seeing the sad results of their attempt to communicate 
through physical manifestations, they have suspended the 
effort till a more favourable epoch. 

" When men are told that spirits watch over them, it is 
not uncommon for them to say, * Spirits should be in better 
business.' The truth is, that many men are so bad that 
they do not want their minds inspected ; they do not wish 
to have it known how gross they are. 

" A spirit wishes to express his idea of a hell. I see a 
mother with her children. She is training them in the path 
she herself has trodden. As she was ignorant and foolish, 
so are they. As her path had been beset with the briars 
and thorns which ignorance and folly engender, so is theirs. 
Now, I see her leave them and pass into the Spirit- world ; 
but, impelled by the eternal and universal law of affinity, 
she still watches over them. Oh, the pangs of her spirit, 
for the wrong she has done, for the misery she has caused ! 
Yet she follows them through all their devious windings 
through darkness and through crime, and is it not hell 
enough ? Oh, is it not hell enough ! 

" Again the scene changes, and I see what caused the sin 
of the mother : A drunken man presents himself — ^his chil- 
dren, comparatively pure and unsullied, seek associates ; for 
all must have such ; they would gladly choose the pure and 
the good, but they are the drunkard's children, and are 
spumed from the doors of the intelligent and cultivated. 
So they are driven back to darkness and ignorance, to glean 
from the great law of association the happiness for which 
every human being pants. They could not seek it where 
they would, they must get it where they can. Thus, with 
minds soured by the repulse they have met with, and their 
darker passions stimulated by the desire of revenge for in- 
juries received, they plod along their devious and uncertain 
way — the prison their asylum — ^the halter their inheritance 
— the constable and sheriff their ministering angels. They 
asked society for meat j it gave them a ecorjdon — ^for bread ; 



BEFOBE THE WOBLD. 31 

thej got a stone. Oh, that men could see the cauee of 
crime ! — ^they would love and pity. 

** If one tree is blighted so that it cannot bear wholesome 
fruit, should the other trees call it evil? That which is 
evil cannot become good, but the undeveloped may progress 
to development. The tree whose root is rotten cannot 
grow ; but if it has been merely scathed, it may. So with 
the spirit — ^though a long time may elapse. The bud, placed 
in the sunlight, does not blossom in a day — if placed in 
darkness, not for weeks. A spirit, after it has left the 
body, will have to throw off all the perversion that re- 
mains. After that is done, progression goes on without 
hindrance. 

" Be not wise in your own conceit. Let him that stan- 
deth in the light of truth, take heed lest he fa.n, through 
the darkness of his own wisdom." 

" Dr. Hallock related some remarkable personal descrip- 
tions of spirits through Mr. Home, occurring on the same 
evening. One spirit was described as having been known 
here by the name of * Elizabeth.' Her person was des- 
cribed, and her prominent traits of character as well as the 
disease of which she died, with such accuracy, that a gen- 
tleman present knew her at once from the description. The 
only inaccuracy that he could point out, being the color of 
her hair, which had been described as browD, when in fact 
it was rather a light auburn. In explanation of which, 
Mr. Home said, ' When I look at the forehead, which is 
very white, [which was the feujt,] the hair looks brown to 
me.' 

" The gentleman (a clergyman) declared that he was not 
thinking of her at all, and she was brought to his recollec- 
tion solely by the accuracy of the description given. 

^'Mr. Home then said, 'I see an old woman, and her 
name is Abigail ; they called her * Aunt Abby.* To the 
question how did she look P he commenced by compressing 
the lips and cheeks in such a way as to indicate a person 
who had lost her teeth. This at once brought to his mind 
an old lady of that name, called by the whole family, ' Aunt 



32 BEFOBE THE WOBLD. 

Abby/ who died in the spring of 1817, when he was some 
eleven years of age. The appearance assumed by the 
medium was that of the last impression left upon his mind. 
She was an old woman ; had prominent features, had lost 
her teeth for many years, was much emaciated by her last 
illness, and as her body lay in its grave-clothes, the thought 
of his young mind, as he stood gazing upon it, was that 
very peculiarity first indicated by the medium. Her nose 
and chin nearly met, so acute was the angle formed by her 
attenuated gums and shrunken lips. 

"Many other facts were given, going to show the identity 
of the two individuals in question. But one great object 
seemed to be to teach us, hy taking persons not thought of 
at the time, (in the last case not thought of for many years,) 
that it was no psychological impression from our own minds, 
as some have supposed ; for there was no known impression 
of the kind existing at the time, and the memory was only 
awakened by the accuracy of the pictures which the medium 
had presented. 

" Another equally interesting and accurate description of a 
spirit, who said his name was William, was given. Pre- 
vious to the announcement of his presence and name by Mr. 
Home, and while he was engaged in the other delineation, a 
lady of high clairvoyant powers, through whose mediumship 
some of the most sublime lessons of truth and wisdom have 
been from time to time communicated, had written and 
shown to a gentleman sitting by her, the following sen- 
tence : ' I am impressed that my father is here and standing 
by my side ; I feel his presence distinctly.' When Mr. 
Home had said, ' there is a spirit present and his name is 
William,' he asked, as if to gratify his * own curiosity, 
* Who is William ?' and then immediately said, * 0, he 
says, Eliza knows me.' The lady's name was Eliza, and | 

the spirit was her father. His appearance and promi- | 

nent traits of character were delineated with great accu- i 

racy." | 

Here at New Tork I made the acquaintance of Dr. Gray, | 

one of the most eminent physicians there, and for whom I | 



BEPOBB THB WOBLD. 06 

liare erer liad the deepest affection and esteem. He and 
Ms kind wife liave given me counsel, and befriended me at 
all times, and under all circumstances. From Ids character 
and attainments, he was eminently suitable as an investi- 
gator of phenomena, requiring a calm dispassionate judg- 
ment, and the testimony of such a man is, in itself, a suffi- 
cient answer to all the doubts of unthinking persons. I had 
ako the pleasure of meeting Judge Edmonds, so well known 
as one of the judges of the Supreme Court. He investi- 
gated this subject in the most painstaking manner for three 
years, and was fully convinced, not only through the medium- 
ship of others, but through his own and that of his daughter, 
a lady well known for h^er purity of mind and truthful nature. 
He was a frequent visitor to me, and saw all the phenomena 
which occurred in my presence. I was also acquainted with 
the late Professor EEare, the eminent chemist and electrician, 
and with Professor Mapes, so well known in agricultural che- 
mistry, and for his acquaintance with this subject. A con- 
ference was formed at New York, which has met weekly for 
many years for the investigation of spiritual phenomena, and 
from its recorded transactions, I make the following extract : 

" Friday Evening, June 18, 1852. 
" Dr. Hallock related a case of physical manifestations 
which took place on the Friday evening previous, at the 
house of Mr. Partridge, after the conference had adjourned. 
Mr. D. D. Home was the medium, and the circle consisted 
of Mr. Partridge, and his wife and daughter, Mr. W. Taylor 
and wife, Mr. S. B. Brittan, and himself. On the table 
around which we were seated, were loose papers, a lead 
pencil, two candles and a glass of water. The table was 
used by the spirits in responding to our questions, and the 
first peculiarity we observed, was, that however violently 
the table was moved, everything on it retained its position. 
When we had duly observed this, the table, which was ma- 
hogany and perfectly smooth, was elevated to an angle of 
thirty degrees, and held there, with every thing remaining 
on it as before. It was interesting to see a lead pencil re- 

D 



34 BEFORE THE WORLD. 

taining a position of perfect rest, on a polished surface 
inclined at such an angle. It remained as if glued to tlie 
table, and so of every thing else on it. The table was re- 
peatedly made to resume its ordinary position and then again 
its inclination as before, as if to fasten upon us the convic- 
tion that what we saw was no deception of the senses, but a 
veritable manifestation of spirit-presence and of spirit- 
power. They were then requested to elevate the table to 
the same angle as before, and to detach the pencil, retaining 
everything else in their stationary positions. This was com- 
plied with. The table was elevated, the pencil rolled off, 
and everything else remained. They were then asked to 
repeat the experiment, retaining the pencil and everything 
else upon the table stationary, except the glass tumbler, and 
to let that slide off. This also was assented to, with the 
like result. AU the articles retained their positions but the 
tumbler, which slid off and was caught in the hands of one 
of the party, as it fell from*the lower edge of the table. 
Then the table, after being restored to the natural position 
was moved strongly to and from Mr. Home, and to and 
from different individuals in the circle, as they requested. 

" After this had been repeated several times, and while a 
comer of the table was inclined into his lap, Mr. Taylor 
asked if the spirits would lift it clear of the floor, while it was 
in that inclined position. Assent was signified, and the table 
after much apparent effort, was lifted clear of the floor as re- 
quested. Dr. Hallock said he was led to the conclusion that 
the effort was only apparent, because, while we were watch- 
ing it closely, with a light upon the floor so as to see the 
slightest motion, the table in the meantime resting upon 
one castor on the floor and one comer of the leaf in Mr. 
Taylor's lap, was raised perhaps about one inch, after having 
been literally tumbled about the circle, sometimes upon one 
castor and sometimes upon two, the leaf resting first in one 
person's lap and then in another. But when the foot of the 
table was finally raised, as described, he, to make sure that 
they were not mistaken in the fact, got down upon the floor 
to observe more closely. While looking, the foot of the 



BEFORE THE WORLD. 35 

table, instead of being raised a doubtful inch or so, was 
thrown up, clear of the floor, six or eight inches, as if all 
former attempts had been mere playful efiPbrts. We then 
asked if they could move the table with a man on it. They 
replied, * Yes, with two men on it.' Mr. Partridge and I 
then seated ourselves back to back upon the table. Our 
combined weight is a little over 350 pounds ; but notwith- 
standing, the table was moved as easily as when nothing 
but the candlesticks and the other things were upon it. We 
were rocked backward and forward, to and from Mr. Home ; 
the table was tipped from the medium and held stationary in 
that position, with us upon it ; and finally we said playfully, 
* when yon get tired of rocking ns, throw ns off.* It was 
done — ^the table was tipped strongly and rapidly from Mr. 
Home, and we were thrown on the floor." 

At the end of June I received the following letter from 
DrHull:— 

" Newbupgh, Orange Co. 
'* On the Hudson. 
" My dear Sir, 

" I am desirous that you should make me a visit, for my- 
self and some intimate friends, at your first leisure, or free- 
dom from present engagements. 

" I wiU meet all your expenses from your place, during 
your stay here, and for your return ; and five dollars a-day 
for ten days, i.e. fifty dollars. 

"I do sincerely trust you will answer me promptly as 
to the time you can make me the desired visit ; and if my 
proposition as to terms be not satisfactory, state what your 
terms are. All shall be made satisfactory to yourself. 

"By addressing a letter to •my direction— Newburgh, 
N. Y., it will soon reach me. 

" I regretted I did not see more of yon in New York, but 
I hope to have the pleasure fuUy made up here. 

"Mr. Edward Fowler has promised to come up when 
you visit me. 

" Very truly yours, &c, 

"A. Gerald Hull." 

"D. D. Home, E§q." 

B 2 



86 BEFORE THE WORLD. 

In reply to this, I informed him that I was not a paid 
medium, but that I should be happy to visit him, as he re- 
quested. I did so, and whilst with him manifestations of a 
very interesting character occurred to a family who had been 
deeply afflicted in the loss of their children. They and Dr. 
Hull took a great interest in my welfare ; and feeling the 
importance of my completing my education, which from ill 
health had been much neglected, and of preserving me from 
the wearing excitement of the life I was then leading, they 
kindly proposed a home for me in their midst. I could not 
then avail myself of their offer, having promised to visit 
many friends during the autumn, but in the following year 
as will be seen, I placed myself under their guidance. 

In August, I went on a visit to Mr. Cheney, at South 
Manchester, Connecticut, and it was at his house that I was 
first lifted in the air, a manifestation which has since fre- 
quently occurred to me both in England and France. 

The following is the description of the evening, in the 
words of a gentleman who was present. 

" On the 8th instant, in company with three gentlemen 
from this city, the writer paid a visit to Ward Cheney, Esq., 
residing in Manchester, at whose house Mr. Daniel D. 
Home was temporarily stopping. A circle was formed, 
and the well-known vibrations on the table were soon 
loud and distinct. One of my friends had never seen 
anything of the kind, and he accordingly looked under 
the table to make sure that no one touched it. Answers 
of a personal character, such as tests of identity, were 
given very freely. Mr. Home was then thrown into 
a spiritually magnetic state, discovering great rigidity of 
muscle, and the ordinary phenomena of the psycho-magnetic 
condition, including a magnetic locking of the jaws, in which 
an iron-lUie hardness of the muscles was apparent. He then 
spelt out (with his eyes closely bandaged) some remarkable 
and interesting messages to one or two of the company, the 
personal nature of which precludes their publication, but 
which were declared by those interested to be perfect tests. 
He did this by pointing, with almost incredible rapidity, to 



BEFOBE THE WOELD. 37 

the different letters of an alphabet arranged on a seven by 
nine card, and thus spelling out the necessary words. A 
rapid writer had difficulty in keeping up with him, and when 
a word or a sentence was partially finished, a suggestion 
from any of the company as to what was intended to be 
spelt, would, if correct, be answered by eager and vehement 
rappings in various parts of the table. Among others, (all 
remarkable), came a message from two sailors lost at sea, 
relatives of one of the company — ^a stranger to most of those 
present. These spirits announced themselves, somewhat 
unexpectedly, by canting over the solid and ponderous table, 
and rolling it in the manner of a vessel in a violent tempest. 
Accompanying this demonstration came a violent creaking as 
of the cables of a ship when strained in a gale ; then came 
the loud sound of a prolonged waihng, shrieking blast of 
wind, precisely such a noise as the wind makes in the rig- 
ging of a ship in a storm at sea — and the creaking of the 
timbers and masts as the vessel surged to one side or the 
other was distinctly heard by all. Next came the regular, 
sullen shocks of the waves as they struck the bows of the 
doomed vessel. All this time the table kept up the rocking 
motion. And now the large table was cajpsized on the floor ! 
All this was done with no one touching the table, as a close 
and constant scrutiny was kept up by two, at least, of our 
party. These two sailors (whose names and ages were 
given) it seems lost their lives by the capsizing of a vessel 
as represented, although this fact, I have the best of reasons 
for knowing, could not previously be known to Mr. Home or 
to any of the company excepting myself. 

"Demonstrations now increased in force and number. 
Several Inmea were rocked out by the table when no one 
touched it, the circle being seated a couple of feet, at 
least, from it. The swing or motion of the table was full 
three feet from the floor at each elevation, and the time was 
kept with singular accuracy. A simultaneous expression 
from all the members of the circle attested their recognition 
of the several tunes as they were thus performed for our 
satisfaction. 



38 BEFORE THE WORLD. 

" The table was actually lifted up from the floor, without 
the application of a human hand or foot ! A table weight 
ing, I should judge, olie hundred pounds, was lifted up a 
foot from the floor, the legs touching nothing. I jumped 
upon it, and it came up again ! It then commenced rock- 
ing, without, however, allowing me to slide off, although it 
canted at least to an angle of forty-five degrees ! Finally, 
an almost perpendicular inclination slid me off, and another 
of the company tried it with the same results. These things 
all happened in a room which was light enough to allow of 
om* seeing under and over, and all around the table, which 
was touched by no one except the two persons who re- 
spectively got upon it to keep it down ! 

" W;e went into a darkened room to see the spiritual flashes 
of light said to have been vouchsafed to some investigators. 
Instead of this we were greeted with iremendotis rcuppirigs 
all about us. Some of the blows on the walls, floor, and 
tables, within three inches of myself, were aatovmding, I 
could hardly produce such violent demonstrations with my 
fist, though I were to strike with all my might. The very 
walls shook. Answers to questions were given by concus- 
sions of varying force and intonation, according to the cha- 
racter of the spirits communicating. A favourite little 
daughter of one of the gentlemen present, a stranger from a 
remote State, who had leffc the earth almost in infancy, an- 
nounced her presence by a thick-pattering rain of eager and 
joyful little raps ; and in answer to an inward request of her 
father, she laid her baby hand upon his forehead ! This was 
a man who was not a believer in these things — ^he had never 
before seen them, but he could not mistake the thrilling 
feeling of that spirit touch. I also had a similar manifesta- 
tion, in the character of which I am not deceived. 

" Suddenly, and without any expectation on the part 
of the company, Mr. Home, was taken up in the air! 
I had hold of his hand at the time, and I and others felt his 
feet— they were lifted a foot from the floor ! He palpitated 
from head to foot apparently with the contending emotions of 
joy and fear which choked his utterance. Again and 



BEFORE THE WORLD. 39 

again lie was taken from the floor, and tlie third time he 
was carried to the lofty ceiling of the apartment, with 
which his hand and head came in gentle contact. 

*' I omitted to state that these latter demonstrations were 
made in response to a request of mine that the spirits would 
give us something that would satisfy everyone in the room 
of their presence. The medium was much astonished, and 
more al£u*med than any of the rest, who, I may add, took 
the matter calmly, though they were intensely interested." 

During these elevations, or levitations, I usually expe- 
rience in my body no particular sensations than what I can 
only describe as an electrical fullness about the feet. I feel 
no hands supporting me, and since the first time, above des- 
cribed, I have never felt fear, though should I have fallen 
from the ceiling of some rooms in which I have been raised, 
I could not have escaped serious injury. I am generally 
lifted up perpendicularly ; my arms frequently become rigid 
and drawn above my head, as if I were grasping the unseen 
power which slowly raises me from the floor. At times 
when I reach the ceiling, my feet are brought on a level with 
my £a,ce, and I am as it were in a reclining position. I have 
frequently been kept so suspended four or five minutes, an 
instance of which will be seen in an account which is given 
of occurrences in the year 1857, at a chateau near Bordeaux. 
I have been lifted in the light of day upon only one occasion, 
and that was in America. I have been lifted in a room in 
Sloane Street, London, with four gas-lights brightly burning, 
with five gentlemen present, who are willing to testify to what 
they saw, if need be, beyond the many testimonies which I 
shall hereafter adduce. On some occasions the rigidity of 
my arms relaxes, and I have with a pencil made letters and 
signs on the ceiling, some of which now exist in London. 

During this autumn and winter, I visited private families 
with whom I had become acquainted, and never a day 
passed without some manifestations occurring. These are 
for the greater part of a private nature, appealing to the sym- 
pathies of relatives and friends, and could not properly be 
given to the world. They are to me, however, as to them 



.40 BEFOBE THE WORLD. 

a deax reminiscence of the loving guidance of departed 
friends, who find their highest happiness in ministering to 
and consoling those who remain to fulfil their pilgrimage 
here. They ever say that God in His loving-kindness 
allows this, and that as He is an everywhere present God^ 
and can bear with our shortcomings, they having been 
mortals like ourselves, can the more readily understand the 
weaknesses of our human nature. During the time I have 
already spoken of as my public life, I have met with thou- 
sands, many of whom disbelieved even the existence of the 
soul after death, and some who denied the existence of 
a God. Amongst these were even clergymen, who told me 
that though they had preached the Gospel, they themselves 
had never been fully convinced of existence in an afber life. 
From the letters of a friend, an Episcopal bishop, I make 
the following extract. ** You have the pleasant assurance of 
having been the instrument of conveying incalculable joy and 
comfort to the hearts of many people ; in the case of sorrow 
you have changed the whole aspect of their existence, and 
you have made dwelling places light, that were dark before." 

I went from Hartford to Springfield, to spend a few days 
with Mr. Elmer, and although at this time I did not hold 
stances, still the power was constantly with me in some 
form or other, as will be seen from the following. 

" While Mr. Alderson was at my house, Mr. Home called 
to see us, having been absent a long time. Soon after he 
arrived, he was taken with severe sickness, from which A. 
attempted relief by bathing his head. During the pro- 
cess, Mr. Home was thrown into the spiritual condi- 
tion, and described Mr. A's father and sister ; spoke their 
names and that of his mother ; and the spirit of the father, 
while addressing his son, caUed him correctly by his chris- 
tian name, which Mr. Home had no means of knowing, 
neither did he know the names of Mr. A.'s parents, which, 
he assured us, were known only to himself, as he had not 
mentioned them this side of Baltimore !" 

On going to Boston my power returned, and with it 
the more impressive manifestationB of music, without any 



BEFOBB THE WORLD. 41 

earthly mstrument. At night, when I was asleep, my room 
would, be filled as it were, with sounds of harmony, and 
these gradually grew louder, till persons in other parts of the 
house could hear them distinctly. If by chance I awakened, 
the music would instantaneously cease. 



42 



CHAPTEE in. 

FT7BTHEB MANIFESTATIONS IN AMEBICA. 

The year 1853 was spent under the guidance of three 
friends, and during the summer months I resided at Kew- 
burgh on the Hudson river, where my time was passed in 
the completion of my studies. I was at the Theological In- 
stitute, but only as a boarder, and in no way included in 
the theological classes. While here, I had an extraordinary 
vision, which is still so vivid, that I remember it in all its 
details. 

The institute was built on an eminence, commanding a 
view of peculiar beauty ; below lay the city ; on the right, 
the river was lost in its windings among the rocky hills sur- 
roundiag West Point ; on the left, it lay in expanse, and 
could be traced for a distance of many miles ; behind, spread 
out the country, with its pretty little farm-houses dotted 
here and there. I have sat for hours of an evening, watch- 
ing the feeble flickering lights, and endeavouring to picture 
in iny imagination the life-emotions which must from time 
to time have crossed those thresholds. Now, fancy pic- 
tured to me a young girl, on whose form time and care had 
passed but as an evening breeze ; and a little further off it 
was, perchance, a mother whose little one was suffering, and 
every beat of whose feeble pulse she had counted, with that 
hope which only a mother may know, as she prays God to 
spare the pure, gentle, and loving little one, whom He has 
given her. Anon, it was one bowed down with age and 
sorrow ; all that he had loved had gone to their rest, and he 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 43 

was alone in the world. Bright pictures of his youth flitted 
before him, but these only augmented his loneliness, for the 
light of the past had brought out in deeper contrast the 
shadows of the present. 

These and similar trains of thought often occupied my 
idle hours ; and, at times, these fancied scenes became as it 
were real, and furnished ample resource to a mind, natur- 
ally inclined to dwell on subjects beyond the little narrow 
circle of every-day life. 

One evening I had been pondering deeply on that 
change which the world calls death, and on the eternity that 
lies beyond, until wearied I found relief in prayer, and then 
in sleep. My last waking consciousness had been that of 
perfect trust in God, and a sense of gratitude to Him for the 
enjoyment I received from contemplating the beauties of the 
material creation. It might have been that my mind was 
led to this by the fact of my having watched a beautiful 
star as it shone and twinkled in the profound stillness of 
the night. Be this as it may, it appeared to me that, as I 
closed my eyes to earthly things, an inner perception was 
quickened within me, till at last reason was as active as 
when I was awake. I, with vivid distinctness, remember 
asking myself the question, whether I was asleep or no? 
when, to my amazement, I heard a voice which seemed so 
natural, that my heart bounded with joy as I recognised it as 
the voice of one, who while on earth was far too pure for 
such a world as ours, and who, in passing to that brighter 
home had promised to watch over and protect me. And, 
although I well knew she would do so, it was the first 
time I had heard her voice, with that nearness and 
natural tone. She said, " Fear not, Daniel, I am near you ; 
the vision you are about to have is that of death, yet you 
will not die. Your spirit must again return to the body in 
a few hours. Trust in G-od and his good angels : all will be 
welL" Here the voice became lost, and I felt as one who at 
noonday is struck blind ; as he would cling even to the last 
memories of the sunlight, so I would fain have clung to 
material existence — not that I felt any dread of passing 



44i MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 

awaj, nor that I doubted for an instant the words of my 
guardian angel ; but I feared I had been over presumptuous 
in desiring knowledge, the very memory of which might 
disturb my future life. This was but momentary, for almost 
instantaneously came rushing with a fearful rapidity 
memories of the past ; my thoughts bore the semblance of 
realities, and every action appeared as an eternity of exis- 
tence. During the whole time I was aware of a benumbing 
and chilling sensation which stole over my body, but the 
more inactive my nervous system became, the more active 
was my mind, till at length I felt as if I had fallen from the 
brink of some fearful precipice, and as I fell, all became 
obscure, and my whole body became one dizzy mass, only 
kept alive by a feeling of terror, until sensation and thought 
simultaneously ceased, and I Iniew no more. How long I 
had lain t}ius I know not, but soon I felt that I was about to 
awaken in a most dense obscurity ,• terror had now given 
place to a pleasurable feeling, accompanied by a certitude of 
some one dearly loved being near me, yet invisible : it then 
occurred to me that the light of the spheres must neces- 
sarily be more effulgent than our own, and I pondered 
whether or not the sudden change from darkness to light 
might not prove painful, for instinctively I realized that 
beyond the surrounding obscurity lay an ocean of silver- 
toned light. I was at this instant brought to a consciousness 
of light, by seeing the whole of my nervous system, as it were, 
composed of thousands of electrical scintillations, which here 
and there, as in the created nerve, took the form of cur- 
rents, darting their rayons over the whole body in a manner 
most marvellous ; still this was but a cold electrical light 
and besides, it was external. Qradually, however, I saw that 
the extremities were less luminous, and the finer membranes 
surrounding the brain became as it were glowing, and I 
felt that thought and action were no longer connected with 
the earthly tenement, but that they were in a spirit-body in 
every respect similar to the body which I knew to have been 
mine, and which I now saw lying motionless before me on 
the bed. The only link which held the two forms together 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AMEBICA. 45 

seemed to be a silvery-like light, which proceeded from the 
brain ; and, as if it were a response to my earlier waking 
thoughts, the same voice, only that it was now more musical 
than before, said, " Death is but a second birth, corresponding 
in every respect to the natural birth, and should the uniting 
link now be severed, you could never again enter the body. 
As I told you, however, this will not be. You did wrong to 
doubt, even for an instant, for this was the cause of your 
having suffered, and this very want of faith is the source of 
every evil on your earth. God is love ; and still His children 
ever doubt Him. Has He not said, ' Knock, and it 
shall be opened unto you: seek, and ye shall find?* 
His words must be taken as they were spoken. It is not 
for men tb give any interpretation they may believe or desire 
to believe, to what God has said. Be very calm, for in a 
few moments you will see us all, but do not touch us, be 
guided by the one who is appointed to go with you, for I 
must remain near your body." 

It now appeared to me that I Vvas waking from a dream 
of darkness to a sense of light ; but such a glorious light. 
Never did earthly sun shed such rays, strong in beauty, soft 
in love, warm in life-giving glow, and as my last idea of 
earthly light had been the reflex of my own body, so now 
this heavenly light came from those I saw standing about 
me. Yet the light was not of their creating, but was shed 
on them from a higher and purer source, which only seemed 
the more adorably beautiful in the invisibility of its holy 
love and mercy, — ^thus to shower every blessing on the crea- 
tures of its creation ; and now I was bathed in light, and 
about me were those for whom I had sorrowed, for although 
I well knew that they existed, and loved and cared for me, 
nevertheless, their earthly presence was not visible. One 
that I had never known on earth then drew near and said, 
* You will come with me, Daniel.' I could only reply, that 
it was impossible to move, inasmuch as I could not feel 
that my nature had a power over mj new spirit-body. To 
this he replied, * Desire and you will accomplish your desires 
which are not sinful, desires being as prayers to the Divinity, 
and He answereth the every prayer of His children.' 



46 MANIFESTATIONS IN AMEBICA. 

For the first time I now looked to see what sustained 
my body, and I found that it was but a purple tinted cloud, 
and that as I desired to go onward with my guide, the cloud 
appeared as if disturbed by a gentle breeze, and in its move- 
ments I found I was wafted upward until I saw the earth, as a 
vision, far, far below us. Soon, I found that we had drawn 
nearer, and were just hovering over a cottage that I had 
never seen ; and I also saw the inmates, but had never met 
them in life. The walls of the cottage were not the least 
obstruction to my sight, they were only as if constructed of 
a dense body of air, yet perfectly transparent, and the same 
might be said of every article of furniture. I perceived that 
the inmates were asleep, and I saw the various spirits who 
were watching over the sleepers. One of these* was en- 
deavouring to impress his son where to find a lost relic 
of him which the son much prized, and the loss of which had 
greatly grieved him. And I saw that the son awoke and 
thought it but an idle dream, and three times this impres- 
sion was repeated by the spirit ; and I knew that when 
morning came, the young man would go, out of curiosity 
where he had been impressed to go, and that he would there 
find what he sought for. In an adjoining room I saw one 
who was tormented by dreams, but they were but the pro- 
duction of a diseased body. 

I was most deeply interested in all this, when my guide 
said, " We must now return." When I found myself near 
my body, I turned to the one who had remained near my 
bed, and said, " Why must I return so soon, for it can be 
but a few moments I have been with you, and I would fain 
see more, and remain near you longer?" She replied, 
" It is now many hours since you came to us ; but here we 
take no cognizance of time, and as you are here in spirit, 
you too have lost this knowledge ; we would have you with 
us, but this must not be at present. Eetum to earth, love 
your fellow-creatures, love truth, and in so doing, you will 
serve the God of infinite love, who careth for and loveth all. 
May the Father of mercies bless you, Daniel !" 

I heard no more, but seemed to sink as in a swoon. 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 47 

until consciousness was merged into a feeling tliat earth with 
its trials lay before me — and that I, as weU as every human 
being, must bear my cross. And when I opened my eyes to 
material things, I found that the little star had given way to 
the sun, which had been above the horizon about four 
hours ; making in all about eleven hours that this vision had 
lasted. My limbs were so dead, that at least half an hour 
elapsed before I could reach the bell rope, to bring any one 
to my assistance, and it was only by continued friction 
that, at the end of an hour, I had sufficient force to enable 
me to stand upright. 

I merely give these facts as they occurred; let others 
comment on them as they may. I have only to add, that 
nothing could ever convince me that this was an illusion 
or a delusion ; and the remembrance of those hours is as 
fresh in my mind now, as at the moment they took place. 

In the autumn I returned to New York, with the inten- 
tion of beginning a course of medical studies, but a chain of 
untoward circumstances seemed strangely to link themselves 
together, and to prevent my carrying out my intention. At 
that time I could not well comprehend why this should be ; 
but since then I have often had occasion to thank God that 
it was so ordered. The kind friends who were doing what 
they thought to be best, in preventing others from seeing the 
manifestations, did not take into consideration that the phe- 
nomena which had been a source of information and consola- 
tion to them, were God-given, and that we had no right to 
conceal the light from any. As what was intended for me 
could only be brought about by my own decision, I acted as I 
felt would be for the best, and so it afterwards proved to be. 

Previous, however, to my taking the step, I had another 
vision of great distinctness. I had been with some friends to 
dine at the house of a mutual acquaintance, and on returning, 
it^was necessary to cross from Brooklyn to New York in the 
ferry-boat. The gate-keeper allowed our carriage to enter, 
and we were going down the inclined plane which led to the 
boat, when one of the men caught the horses by the bit and 
stopped them, telling the coachman as he did so, that there 



48 MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 

was no room for us on the ferry-boat. Not only was this so, 
but the chains were akeady down, and the boat was in the 
act of leaving. There we were on a steep inclined plane, 
with restive horses, and the deep waters within a foot of 
them, the only barrier being a chain not over strong. Mrs. 

C begged to alight, and I jumped from the carriage and 

gave her my hand to assist her. As her hand touched mine, 
with the instantaneous sensation of contact, as if ' from some 
change in the electrical condition, I saw with most perfect dis- 
tinctness, that a little sist-er of mine had passed from earth. 
I was not aware that the child had been ill, and her illness 
being apparently but slight, my relatives had not thought 
it necessary to write to me about her. It was a strange tran- 
sition ; there I stood in the cold night air, and I heard the 
impatient pawing of the horses on the worn deal boards ; I 
heard the waters as they broke against the side piles of the 
ferry ; I felt a life-warm hand in mine, yet there, shielding 
her from the cold, beyond all fear, and where harm could not 
come, I saw my mother, with one of the three children she 
had left with me to care for on earth. The child was close 
pressed to her heart, and her long silky hair lay scattered in 
profusion over my mother's shoulder. I saw also my spirit- 
sister Mary, who seemed anxious to soothe the child-like won- 
derment of her newly arrived sister. It was but for a mo- 
ment, yet I saw it all, and I knew that God had given me 
another guardian angel. The next day letters came to 
announce what I thus already knew. 

January of 1854 was the beginning of severer trials, for 
I had been so left to myself in solitude and study the whole 
winter, that mind and body were alike disturbed, and I wrote 
to my friends saying that I could not think of continuing 
the life I then led ; and after many letters had passed between 
us, I was again left to myself to decide as to my future course. 
I had friends in* Boston, who as soon as they knew what my 
intentions were, generously offered to do all that my other 
friends had been doing, and to allow me perfect liberty to 
see whom I might please. My health had suffered from the 
nervous anxiety of my solitary life and studies, and now the 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 49 

medical men wliom I consnlted, pronoTinced my left lung to 
be diseased. My spirit friends said that they were correct 
in their diagnosis, but that I would not yet pass from earth, 
as my mission was incomplete, and there was much yet for 
me to do. 

I went from New York to Hartford, but I saw no stran- 
gers for a few weeks. From here I went again to Spring- 
field, and Dr. Ghirdner of Boston, in a letter, dated March 
Ist, 1854, describes what he saw at this time, and which, 
though in some respects similar to what has been already 
described, wiU help to shew the character of the manifesta- 
tions at different periods of my life. 

Dr. Gardner says, " I am induced to offer you the follow- 
ing facts, which I in company with several other persons 
witnessed at the house of Mr. Eufus Elmer in this city, on 
the evening of the 28th of February, 1854. Nine per- 
sons besides Mr. Home, were seated round a common 
cherry table, when the following phenomena occurred : The 
table commenced a trembling, vibratory motion, sounds 
were heard on the floor and table, some of which were very 
loud, then the table was rocked with great force, then 
raised nearly if not quite two feet from the floor, and it was 
held supported in mid air with a waving motion, as if 
floating on the agitated waters of the sea, for consider- 
able time, * This was repeated several times. Then we 
were directed to place the dinner-bell (weighing one lb. 
one oz.) under the table on the floor, where it was rung 
with great violence many times; questions were answer- 
ed by the raps upon it, and with it each individual in 
the circle was touched in such a manner that there could be 
no mistake about it. We then requested the spirits to pass 
the bell from the floor, and to place it into our hands, which 
was done to each individual separately ; and, again at our 
request, it was taken from our hands, and carefully deposited 
on the floor. Again, while we sung the hymn, * Whilst 
shepherds watch,' the bell was raised from the floor, and 
rang in perfect time with the measure of the tune sung, 
after which another tune was drummed out by the bell 



50 MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 

against the under-side of tlie table, the sound resembling 
the roll of drum-sticks in the hands of a skilful performer 
upon a tenor drum. This was continued for several minutes. 

" All the above I know was performed without human 
agency ; the hands of each person present during the whole 
performance above described being on the top of the table, 
with the room well lighted, and in the full view of every 
person present ; and this was also the case during the whole 
sitting. During the whole time of the various performances 
with the bell, as well as before and after it, our clothes 
were pulled almost constantly, two handkerchiefs were firmly 
knotted together while lying in the laps of the owners, 
we were many times touched more or less forcibly, pro- 
ducing a peculiar and indescribable sensation, some of us 
had our limbs grasped with considerable force, and dis- 
tinctly felt the form of the spirit hand, a soft, delicate, elas- 
tic, yet powerful touch, which cannot be described, but must 
be felt to be appreciated. The reader will bear in mind 
that the hands of every person present were in plain view 
on the top of the table. 

" During the evening, responses to questions asked, were 
made by the invisible intelligence with the bell-handle, so 
heavy as to leave indentations on the table which may be 
seen by any person who doubts. Many other manifestations 
were made, but the above are sufficient to convey some 
idea of the wonderful invisible power there manifested ; and 
the many beautiful and sublime moral teachings there given 
by our heavenly visitants, through the medium while en- 
tranced, I trust will long be remembered and made a rule of 
life by those who heard them." 

I next went to Boston, and while here the power seemed 
to increase in a manner, which surprised me not less than 
other witnesses of it. On several occasions spirits were seen 
distinctly by all present in the room, and more than 
once they kissed persons present so as to be both felt 
and heard. During the summer months my health gra- 
dually improved, and I once more thought that I would now 
be enabled to pursue a course of studies which would enable 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 51 

me to take my diploma as a medical man. But no ! again 
a series of unforeseen circumstances combined to prevent 
me. In September, I returned to Springfield, and the letter 
I here insert is taken from " The Eepublican" and describes 
some phenomena witnessed by Mr. F. C. Andrue. 

" On Monday last, September 25, 1854, I called after tea 
at the house of my friend, Mr. Elmer, for the purpose of re- 
turning a book which I had borrowed. Unexpectedly, I met 
there Mr. D. D. Home, who had just arrived from Boston. 
After conversing an hour or two, Mr. Elmer having to leave 
on the morrow on business, proposed a * circle' that even- 
ing. We accordingly sat down — Mr. Elmer's family, Mr. 
Home and I being the only persons present. The occur- 
rences, though very extraordinary, were similar to those 
already published. We were all touched by unseen hands, 
the room being well lighted with gas, a large bell was passed 
into our hands, <fec. These things were not new to me, and 
are not to the public. I will therefore pass them by. 

" BInowing that still more extraordinary * manifestations' 
at times occurred to Mr. Home during the night, I men- 
tioned that I would like to witness some of them. They 
urged me to stay and spend the night, and I did so. 

" After leisurely undressing, putting out the light and re- 
tiring to bed, we soon began to hear faint raps, which rapidly 
increased in power and number, till the walls, floor, and 
bedstead fairly shook with the strokes. They came like a 
shower. Soon came other noises, and then the bed began to 
move across the floor. This seemed rather dangerous 
locomotion. It was the onl^' thing that gave me any un- 
easiness. Having before witnessed so many wonders, I was 
not frightened, though Mr. Home seemed to be so, holding 
on to me with both hands, and begging with all his might 
that the bedstead should be stopped. They complied with 
his request, but only to come in a more tangible form. 

Soon I began to feel some one stepping on my feet and 
ancles, over the bed-clothes, but with a pressure different 
from that produced by any hard substance. Directly after 
there came a hand on mv head and forehead, as much like 

E 2 



52 MAKIFEBTATIONS IS AMEBICA. 

flesh a/nd Hood as any I eyer felt, only somewhat cold, I began 
to ask questions, the fingers patting me on my forehead in 
answer. Several hands, touching me at the same time, 
claimed to be those of relatives of mine. 

" A strong hand came, stated to be that of my grandfather. 
I asked, how am I to know that this is my grandfather ? 
The hand moved from my forehead to my temple, over my 
eyebrow and eye, and then passed down over my face — ^the 
fingers patting me in the most gentle manner possible. At 
another time, at my request, hands patted my forehead with 
such force that the soimd could be heard, I am confident, in 
any part of the room. 

. "I wish, before I close, to add a few words. To 
religious minds, (which are strangely the most sceptical 
in this matter) I have this to say : By what process 
of reasoning can you bring yourselves to disbelieve my 
testimony of what I haow and have seen, and to believe 
the testimony of what John, Peter or Paul saw? I speak 
with ail reverence — I doubt not their testimony ; on the 
contrary I believe it now more than ever. But I know 
of no reason, (my veracity being unimpeached) why my 
testimony of what I Tcnow and see is not as good as that of 
any other man, living or dead. And there are thousands 
who know these things to be so, as well as I. 

" To our wise men, whose hobby is scientific investigation, 
I would say : Of what use is it to those who have gone 
through what I have, to read Dr. Dodd's book. Dr. Eogers* 
theory, or to marvel over Professor Faraday's discoveries ? 
who only proved that when he pushed, he pushed." 

Early in November, I returned to New York, and resumed 
my medical studies. I held stances two or three times a 
week, at my own rooms, and was in the habit of going 
amongst the poorer classes for the purpose of speaking to 
them of this most cheering truth. I have always found them 
to be the most candid and thorough in their investigations ; 
and when they were in reality convinced, they were the 
most thankful to God in allowing such proofs of spiritual 
beings and forces to exist. I have seen many a poor heart- 
broken mother consoled with the thought that the fair young 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 58 

child, given her by God as a hope-star to cheer her as she 
toiled for her daily bread, but who had pined and gone for 
ever from her sight, was still living and loving her and her 
Gt>d-sent ministering angel. I well remember a poor man be- 
ing present one evening, and the spirit of a little girl coming 
with the following message. "Father, dear, your little 
Mary was present last Wednesday, and God gave her power 
to prevent you from doing what you wished. If you were 
ever to do that, you could not come where your own Mary 
and her mother are. Promise me you will never think of 
Buch an awful thing again." We all looked astonished, but 
could not understand to what she alluded. Still it was 
evident the poor fsEither knew too well, for throwing himself 
on his knees, he said, as the tears rolled down his cheeks, 
" Indeed, it is but too true, that on Wednesday last I decided 
to cut my throat j but as I took the razor to do it, I felt that 
bad my child been alive, she would have shrunk from me 
with horror, and this very thought was the saving of me." 

My frequent stances were attended by persons who were 
introduced to me by friends, and I met at this time many 
hundreds. One of these stances is spoken of in the " New 
Tork Conference," of December 26, 1854, and may serve to 
give an idea of my mediumship at this time. 

" A gentleman present related the facts of a circle which 
met on WeAiesday evening last. Mr. Home was the 
medium. When seated, the first thing noticed was an 
undulating motion of the table, which was followed by its 
being lifted entirely clear off the floor. This was repeated 
several times. Once or twice it was raised as high as the 
chins of the party sitting at it, the hands of every person in 
the room being upon the table. A guitar in its case standing 
in one comer of the room was heard to move, and on examin- 
ation, the end resting upon the floor was found to have 
moved several inches. Loud raps were heard in its vicinity 
while this was being done, and a closet door opening upon 
the room in which they were seated, was shut with 
considerable force. The circle during these occurrences re- 
mained seated at the table, and some six or eight feet 



54 MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 

from where they took place. The guitar case was then 
unlocked, and the instrument placed under the table. 
In this position it was played upon rejieatedly, not, to be 
sure, in the highest grade of the art, but with very fair 
average skill. The hands of the party during this per- 
formance were all upon the table in plain sight of every one. 
There was no chance for trick, the room being sufficiently 
light for all to see the exact position of every person and. 
thing in the room. The guitar was then placed in the lap 
of each member of the circle in rotation. Each one took 
hold of the end presented, and held on until the iostrument 
was removed by the invisible agency. The table, the chair, 
in which they were seated, and the floor of the room itself, 
were made each in turn to exhibit a tremulous motion 
sensible to all. The large rocking-chair in which Mr. Home 
was seated, was next rocked forcibly. Then, by direction 
through the alphabet, the whole party of ten persons, in 
rotation took the same chair, and were rocked in the same 
way. The application of the power was as though a person 
had hold of the upper part of the back of the chair with one 
hand, and the other on its arm. The application of the 
force at these points could be felt distinctly at every vibra- 
tion ; and the force necessary to produce them may be appre- 
ciated by stating that the feet of the sitter were held out 
straight, and were frequently made to strike the under side of 
the top of the table. Every one was touched in turn as by 
human hands, some large and some small. A lady present 
who had been touched with what purported to be the hands 
of her little daughter, asked if she could take the handker- 
chief out of her lap ? Very soon it was seen to move slowly 
from her lap, and disappear beneath the table. In a few 
minutes, raps indicating the alphabet were heard, and this 
sentence was received : " Mother, now look and see what we 
have done." On looking, the handkerchief • was foimd 
knotted and twisted into the form of a dolUhahyj not very 
symmetrical, but sufficiently like to show the evident design, 
as well as ingenuity and power to execute. Several other 
j[nteresting facts occurred during the evening. 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 65 

" Dr. Hallock said he was present when the facts just 
narrated occurred. The point which he particularly wished 
to illusti*ate, was the open character, so to speak, of these 
manifestations. When an important fact is stated, accom- 
panied with the explanation tluit it occurred in a dark room, 
it naturally raises the question of deception in the mind of 
the hearer, which the most elaborate statement of par- 
ticulars cannot eradicate. Prom beginning to end, these 
manifestations were free from that objection. Every person 
in the circle, Mr. Home included, was in full view. When the 
guitar was played, all our hands were seen to be on the table. 
A man could not have touched the strings of that instru- 
ment with the toe of his boot even, much less with his hand, 
without detection. So of all the other facts of the evening. 
In one instance, after several unsuccessful attempts to retain 
a sheet of paper upon the smooth surfisice of the table when 
elevated to a considerable angle, the table with the sheet of 
paper on it was turned so as to rest on its edge, the top 
being vertical, and the paper still retaining its position, until 
it was suffered to fall at the request of one of the gentlemen 
present. The exhibition of power and intelligence manifested 
on that evening, were done for us, and not by us — if ten pairs 
of eyes, with the remaining complement of senses, are to be 
taken as evidence." 

In January, 1851, the weather was more than usually cold 
and severe, and my cough had so increased, with other 
symptoms of a more alarming nature, that all idea of com- 
pleting my medical studies had to be abandoned entirely. 
The medical men whom I consulted, all coincided in saying 
that my only hope of having my life prolonged, was to visit 
Europe. This was to me a hard struggle, in being thus 
separated from those who would have tended me with 
every affection, and to be thrown as it were a stranger in 
what was bow to me a strange land. My family had by this 
time all been residents of America for some time, and I 
knew no one Mend in all England. I would not have 
heeded the advice of my medical men, and I should have 
remained where I was to pass from earth ; but my spirit 



56 1IANIFESTATI017S IN AMEBIGA. 

friends told me that I must go, and their counsels could not 
be unheeded. I accordingly went to pay a series of farewell 
visits to those friends who had been so kind to me ; they as 
well as I feeling that in all probability it was the last time 
we should meet " in the flesh." While at Hartford in March, 
on one of these visits the seance here alluded to took place. 

" The following occurrences transpired in this city, on the 
evening of the 1 4th ultimo. A small party were seated with Mr. 
D. D. Home, who is probably the most remarkable of modern 
mediums for spirit-manifestations of a physical or tangible 
order. It was intimated that if we would procure a table- 
cloth and place it upon the table, the unseen presences would 
manifest themselves by lifting up the cloth. The cover was 
accordingly procured, when we placed it upon the table, 
put the lamp upon it, and drew back far enough to pre- 
vent the possibility of any one of the party touching 
it, unless by stretching forward ; and the slightest move- 
ment of the kind by any one present would have been in- 
stantly detected. In a moment more the table-cloth was 
plainly lifted up, on the side opposite to the medium, and in 
the fudl light of the lamp. It presented the appearance of 
something under it, for it moved about under the cloth, going 
first to one side of the table and then to the other. Pre- 
sently it reached out, lifting the sides of the cloth, towa/rds 
each one present, in succession. In this manner the force, or 
substance, (for it was a substantial thing, resembling a hand,) 
reached out and shook hands with the company. It felt, 
through the cloth, like a hand ; but on retaining it for a 
closer inspection, it seemed to evaporate or dissolve, and was 
rapidly lost. In its nature and composition it resembled, 
apparently, the hand and arm seen on a previous occasion 
by a party of six, and described in a former article. 

" Soon after this, the thing, (whatever it was) again lifted 
up the table-cloth, moving apparently all about the table, 
and raising the cloth as it moved. ' In a moment more it 
reached forward and touched one of the party ; then drew 
back and again reached out and touched another. Different 
parts of the person were thus touched ; and presently the 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA^ 57 

hand — if it was a hand, left its protection of the table-cloth, 
and commenced touchmg the party in succession, some in one 
place, and others in another. But nothing could be 8een! 
If requested to touch, for instance, the right shoulder, the 
hand would unexpectedly respond by touching the left; or if 
asked to touch the leg, perhaps the breast or hand of the 
one asking would be touched — seemingly with a view to in- 
dicate in the clearest manner that the power and the 
intelligence was separate from the mind of the party. The 
invisible agency thus operating touched the writer at first 
on the knee, and, gradually advancing upwards, finally took 
him by the hand ; but, although this was in a pretty good 
light, (a little below the edge of the table), no traces of the 
hand that was palpably touching mine could be seen. 

*' A guitar, of a size and weight somewhat unusual, had 
been placed beneath the table, in the hope of getting some 
nrnsic from the spirits. I placed also a quire of letter paper 
and a pencil upon the instrument, that they might, if able 
and so disposed, give us a sample of writing without mortal 
hands. (Both of these performances have been witnessed at 
circles in New York, and elsewhere). As soon as we were 
again seated aiid quiet, the guitar was sounded, and then 
played upon, evidently by real, substantial fingers, for the 
touches on the strings were strong and distinct. Presently 
the quire of paper was thrown from the instrument upon 
the floor, a distance of some three or four feet, and the 
music was again produced, louder than before. Next, the 
guitar, large and heavy as it was, was dragged out from its 
placC; and carried anvay to a door, a distance of five feet from 
the table, and there the music recommenced, stronger and 
clearer than ever. This had all been done while the party sat 
quietly at the table. At this juncture, in order to see the 
performance going on at that distance, the writer leaned 
forward towards it, and in so doing, accidentally extinguished 
the lamp on the table ; but as a good light was reflected 
upon all of us from a grate of glowing coals directly in front 
of the party, it was decided not to break the circle to relight 
the lamp, and the manifestations went on. 



58 MANIFESTATIONS IN AMERICA. 

" While we sat thus, the guitar, at a distance of Jwe or six 
feet from the party, was played wpon exquisitely, and for seve- 
ral minutes, by some power other than that of any one 
bodily present. The instrument was partially in shadow, 
and the hand that swept its strings could not be seen; 
but the music was surpassingly beautiful. It was of a cha- 
racter entirely new to those who listened, and was sweeter, 
softer, and more harmonious than anything I have ever 
heard. Portions of it were filled with a certain soft and 
wild melody that seemed to be the echo of other music far 
away, and for the exquisite sweetness of which there are no 
words. It was of that 



' Music that softer falls 



Than petals from blown roses on the grass, 
Or night dews on still waters between walls 
Of shadowy granite in a gleaming pass.* 

Anon it changed, and rose to a * full orb' of strong, tem- 
pestuous melody, filling the house with its sounds. It was 
heard by a lady residing in another part of the house, who 
inquired about it the next day, thus proving the strength 
and the reality of this immortal music, 

" It was asked by one of the circle, * Can you strike on all 
the chords at once V Ans, (by responses on the strings) 
— * Yes,* and this was actually done. 

" The guitar was then removed to a comer of the room, 
still farther off; and as soon as all were seated, it was 
again played upon, at that distance, for some time ; then it 
was brought back by invisible means and placed near the 
table. Mr. Home remarked that all this transcended any- 
thing of the kind in his previous experience, and he pro- 
posed to ' see what they could do,' taking the guitar to the 
most distant comer of the room. It was suggested to him by 
us that this would be useless, as they could do nothing at that 
distance from himself; but upon his taking his seat again, 
the spirits began playing the instrument in that fsirthest 
comer ! — at a distance (as ascertained by subsequent mea- 
surement) of nearly eleven feet from the circle or the me- 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AJIEBJGA. 59 

dium ! Then the guitar was moved from its place by the 
spirits and brought towards the circle ; but, encountering a 
heavy mahogany chair on the way, the instrument was laid 
down and the chair dragged several fed out of the way ; after 
which the guitar was taken up and carried all around the 
circle by the invisibles, and at length deposited in the oppo- 
site comer! In a few moments more the writer saw it 
poised in the air, top upwards, and nearly over his head ! 
The remark was made, " Well, if I did not see this myself, 
I wouldn't believe it on other testimony" — ^whereupon the 
instrument reached forward and playfully tapped the speaker 
three times upon the shouMer. Then it was passed across the 
table (over his head) towards Mr. Home, whom it lightly 
touched several times upon the head ! Being close to it 
during this performance, I watched it narrowly by the aid 
of the fire-light. The bottom end of the instrument was 
very near my face, while the opposite end was thus being 
used ; it was not, in fact, six inches above my head, and just 
in front of me. The indistinct outline of a huirum hand could 
he seen gra^sping the instrwment just below its centre. 

" Beaching up, I grasped the instrument firmly in both 
hands and held it above my head, requesting at the same 
time that the one who had been performing would note play 
it if possible. Immediately the strings were touched as if by 
human fingers, though now invisible, and the guitar was 
played as well while thus held in the air as it had been while 
on the floor ! 

** The quire of paper before spoken of was taken from the 
floor, slowly lifted up, and placed upon the table, as I can 
affirm, without the aid of a human hand. Sitting at that 
end of the table where this was done, I was enabled to see 
the whole of this proceeding. The quire of paper was placed 
upon the edge of the table, and so near my hand as to touch it. 
This was done slowly and deliberately, and this time at 
least I wa« permitted to see plainly and clearly the hand that 
had hold of it. It was evidently a lady*8 hand — very thin, 
very pale, and remarkably attenuated. The conformation 
of this hand was peculiar. The fingers were of an almost pre- 



60 MANIFESTATIONS IK AMERICA. 

temattiral length, and seemed to be set wide apart. The ex-* 
treme pallor of tlie entire liand was also remarkable. But 
perhaps the most noticeable thing about it was the shape of 
the fingers, which, in addition to their length and thinness, 
were unusually pointed at the ends ; they tapered rapidly and 
evenly toward the tips.* The hand also narrowed from the 
lower knuckles to the wrist, where it ended. All this 
could be seen by such light as was in the rooin, while the 
hand was for a few moments holding the paper upon the 
edge of the table. It suddenly disappeared, and in a mo- 
ment the pencil was thrown from some quarter, and fell upon 
the table, where the hand again appeared, took it, and hegcm 
to write. This was in plain sight, being only shaded by one 
of the circle who was sitting between the paper on the table 
and the fire. The hands of each one present were upon the 
table, in full view, so that it could not have been one of the 
party who was thus writing. Being the nearest one to the 
hand, I bent down close to it as it wrote, to see the whole 
of it. It eirtended no farther than the wrist. With a feel- 
ing of curiosity natural under the circumstances, I brought 
my face close to it in the endeavour to see exactly what it 
was, and, in so doing, probably destroyed the electric or 
magnetic influence by which it was working ; for the pencil 
dropped and the hand vanished. The writing was after- 
wards examined, and proved to be the name, in her own 
proper handwriting, of a relative and intimate lady friend of 
one in the circle, who passed away some years since. Other 
marks were also made, and the word 'Dear* had been 
written just as the pencil dropped. This writing has been 
preserved, and remains as an evidence of the reality of the 
fact. That it was produced by no hand of any one bodily in 
that room I know and affirm. 



* The writer has since been shown a daguerreotype taken from a pic- 
ture of the ladj whose name was written as above described, and whose 
disease was consumption. GDhe portrait was taken just before her death, 
and the bands and fingers in the daguerreotype, although rather indis- 
tinct, bear a most dose and remarkable resemblance to the hand described 
abore. 



MANIFESTATIONS IN AXEBIGA. 61 

'* The liand afterwards came and shook Jumds with each one 
present. I felt it minutely. It was tolerably weU and 
symmetrically made, though not perfect ; and it was soft and 
slightly warm. It ended at the wbist." 



62 



CHAPTEE lY. 

INBNaLAND. 

On the 31st of March, 1855, I sailed from Boston for 
England in the * Afiica,' the late Captain Harrison being the 
captain of the ship. On the ninth day of our voyage we 
neared England, and the signal cannon was fired. I never 
can forget my feelings as I looked around me, and saw only 
joy beaming on the faces of my fellow-passengers ; some 
there were who were about to reach their home, and the 
thought of kind friends waiting to welcome them brought 
the smile of joy on their countenances. Others were tra- 
vellers who saw the Old World with all her art treasures 
spread before them, and the monotony of a sea-voyage so 
near its termination. I stood there alone, with not one 
friend to welcome me, broken down in health, and my 
hopes and fairest dreams of youth, all, as I thought, for 
ever fled. The only prospect I had was that of a few 
month's suffering, and then to pass from earth. I had this 
strange power also, which made a few look with pity on me 
as a poor deluded being, only devil-sent to lure souls to 
destruction, while others were not chary in treating me as 
a base impostor. I stood there on the ship's deck amongst 
the crowd of passengers, and a sense of utter loneliness 
crept over me, until my very heart seemed too heavy for me 
to bear up against it. I sought my cabin, and prayed to 
God to vouchsafe one ray of hope to cheer me. In a few 



IN ENGLAND. 06 

moments I felt a sense of joy come over me and when I rose, 
I was as liappy as the happiest of the throng. 

I reached Cox's Hotel in Jermyn Street on the evening 
of the 9th of April ; and as soon as Mr. Cox knew who I 
was, he welcomed me more as a father would welcome a son, 
than as a stranger whom he had never seen, and from that 
time to this he has been to me the most sincere and gene- 
rous friend. 

It soon became known that I was in England, and in less 
than a month I had more engagements than I could weU 
fulfil. While at Cox's Hotel, Lord Brougham expressed a 
desire to see me for the purpose of investigating the phe- 
nomena, and as his lordship's evenings were fully occupied, 
I appointed an early afternoon. Accordingly his Lordship 
came accompanied by Sir David Brewster, with whom and 
Mr. Cox I had a seance, which shortly afberwards, in conse- 
quence of the misrepresentations and evasions of Sir David 
Brewster, became of considerable public interest, inasmuch 
as it was made the means of a general discussion in the 
newspapers on the subject of the spiritual phenomena. . 
There are few matters in which Sir David Brewster has 
come before the public which have brought more shame 
upon him, than his conduct and assertions on this occasion, 
in which he manifested not only a disregard for truth, but 
also a disloyalty to scientific observation, and to the use of 
his own eyesight and natural faculties. In order that Lord 
Brougham might not be compelled to deny Sir David's state- 
ments, he found it necessary that he should be silent, and I 
have some reason to complain that his Lordship preferred 
sacrificing me to his desire not to immolate his friend, since 
his silence was by many misconstrued to my disadvantage. 
The correspondence which ensued was so interesting and 
characteristic, and is moreover so useful as being the first 
great occasion on which one of the pretended magnates of 
science has come forward on the subject of these pheno- 
mena, that I have thought it well to give the substance of 
it, with some pertinent remarks on Sir David Brewster's 
conduct in an Appendix. It will be a means whereby his 



64i IK ENGLAND. 

character may be the better known, not only for his untruth- 
fal dealing with this subject, but also in his own domain of 
science in which the same unfaithfulness to truth will be 
seen to be the characteristic of his mind. 

The immediate effect, however, of this ventilation of the 
subject was, as I have invariably found it, to excite only the 
greater interest in the phenomena, and it was thereby the 
means of convincing numbers of all classes who visited me. 
My time was fully occupied, notwithstanding my delicate 
health, in giving seances to anxious inquirers of all ranks 
and classes, from the peer to the artizan, and including 
men of all the professions high in art, science, and litera- 
ture, who were both more competent and truthful than I 
found Sir David Brewster to be to form a correct conclusion. 

After some time in Jermyn Street, I went to stay with a 
friend at Ealing, who was deeply interested in the subject, 
and his house was, during the greater part of my stay, 
almost besieged by persons wishing to witness the phe- 
nomena. Hundreds had their wishes gratified, and saw 
what has proved enough to be the turning point of their 
lives, and what rendered no longer possible those materialistic 
and sceptical notions, which are still unhappily so rife 
amongst the most highly educated classes at this day. 
Many interesting incidents occurred during my stay at Ealing, 
and the hands and once or twice the head of the spirit 
form were repeatedly seen by many, who publicly testified to 
the fact. But although I was apparently wearing out my life 
by the fatigue and excitement which these constant stances 
caused to me, I was not allowed to become proud of my 
position, for the good clergyman of Ealing found it his duty 
to publicly preach against me, and to attribute the manifes- 
tations to the devil. The position which is taken up by many 
of the clergy, is to me, in itself, an extraordinary manifes- 
tation, for certainly these phenomena, whether from God or 
from the devil, have in ten years caused more converts to 
the great truths of immortality and angel communion, with 
all that flows from these great facts, than all the sects in 
Christendom have made during the same period. Indeed, 



IN ENGLAND. 65 

whilst the churclies are losing their adherents, the belief in 
spiritual laws caused by these external manifestations, is 
becoming widely spread through the sceptical masses. It is 
not at all improbable that in pursuing their new studies, 
these last may be the means in their turn of converting the 
clergy to a belief in spiritual laws. 

Whilst I was at Ealing, a distinguished novelist, ac- 
companied by his son attended a seance, at which some 
very remarkable manifestations occurred, and which were 
chiefly directed to him. The rappings on the table sud- 
denly became unusually firm and loud. He asked "what 
spirit is present ?" the alphabet was called over, and the 
response was, " I am the spirit who influenced you to 

write Z !" " Indeed," said he, " I wish you would give 

me some tangible proof of your presence." " What proof ? 
will you take my hand?" "Yes," and putting his hand 
beneath the surface of the table, it was immediately seized 
by a powerful grasp, which made him start to his feet in 
evident trepidation, exhibiting a momentary suspicion 
that a trick had been played upon him ; seeing, however, 
that all the persons around him were sitting with their 
hands quietly reposing on the table, he recovered his 
composure, and offering an apology for the uncontrollable 
excitement caused by such an unexpected demonstration, 
he resumed his seat. 

The following words were then spelt out, " We wish you 

to believe in the " and then stoj^ed. It was asked of 

the spirit : " In what am I to believe ? in the medium ?" 
"No." "In the manifestations?" "No." At that mo- 
ment he was gently tapped upon the knee, and putting his 
hand down, a cross was placed there by the spirit, which 
thus significantly finished the sentence. 

The cross was made of card-board, and had been lying on 
a small table with other ornamental articles in a distant 
part of the large room in which the party were seated. 
The investigator, apparently much impressed with the inci- 
dent, turned to Mrs. Eymer, and asked permission to retain 
the cross as a souvenir, to which she assented, saying that 

F 



bb IN ENGLAND. 

ts only value to her was that it had been made by her boy, 
then recently deceased, but she could have no objection to 
him keeping it, if he would remember the injunction. He 
bowed his assent, and placing the souvenir in his breast 
pocket, carried the cross away with him. 

On another occasion the children had been playing in the 
garden with some fresh-gathered flowers, out of which they 
had formed a wreath. A s^nce was proposed. It was a 
calm summer's evening, with the full moon just rising. A 
large circular-shaped table was selected in the drawing- 
room, which room was on a level with the garden lawn, 
the French windows extending to the ground, and the 
moonlight-twilight shone through them sufficiently to make 
everything in the room visible. 

The party seated themselves around the half circle of the 
table, leaving the other half nearest to the garden window 
vacant. After several minor incidents had occurred, the 
table rose slowly from the groimd, and ascended to the 
ceiling of the room, out of the reach of aU but Mr. Coleman, 
who was tall enough to just touch its rim. It then descended 
steadily and settled on the floor with no more sound than if 
it had been a feather's weight. 

Having taken their seats again, a beautifully-formed femi- 
nine hand became distinctly visible to all the party present. 
It came up from the vacant side of the table, and made an 
unavailing effort, at first, to reach a small hand-bell which 
had been placed there. In a short time, the fleshy and 
delicately-formed arm became visible up to the elbow, and 
was enveloped in what appeared to be a gauze sleeve, 
through which it was transparently seen. The fingers then 
took up the bell, held it suspended for a moment, rung it, 
and slowly carried it, ringing, beneath the table. Mr. Cole- 
man finding the bell jingling against his knee, put down his 
hand, received it, and placed it on the table. He then asked 
if he might feel the hand, which was neither warm nor cold, 
but of velvety softness, and it was placed with a gentle 
pressure in his. 

When the hand first appeared, all in the circle had hold 



IN ENaLAND. ^1 

of each other's hand, I having, at Mr. Coleman's request, 
placed both my hands in Mr. Coleman's grasp. 

Whilst seated in this position, the wreath of flowers, 
which had been made bv the children, was seen by all to 
be lifted from my head, where it had been playfully 
placed a short time previously. No hand was visible. The 
wreath then descended to within an inch of the surface of 
the table. It then slowly traversed round the circle and 
back again to Mr. Coleman who took it, and retained it at 
home until the flowers withered. 

At another sitting, each person in the circle who wore a 
ring had it gently removed by a spirit hand, the hand being 
seen afterwards with all the rincjs on its fingers, and after 
displaying itself by turning about, shewing the back and 
palm two or three times, inverted itself, and cast the rings 
upon the table. 

One evening at Ealing, Sir David Brewster, Mrs. Troll ope 
the authoress, and her son Mr. Thomas TroUope, and several 
others were present. The table at which the party 
sat was a long telescopic dining table, having two legs 
at each end and none in the centre. One end of it was 
occupied by Mr. TroUope, Sir David Brewster, and a lady. 
I sat about the centre of one side, having Mrs. TroUope on 
my left ; the others present occupying the remainder of the 
table. There was no cloth or drapery of any kind. Sir 
David was invited to look under the table and make every 
investigation, and he did most properly avail himself of the 
opportunity afforded him by carefully looking under the 
table, both before sounds were heard and during the time 
they were being made. On this occasion Sir David tried to 
lift the table, sometimes he could not, at other times he 
could, or, as Sir David said, " the table was made light and 
heavy at comrrumd" 

An accordion was called for : hymns and tunes were 
played, and without any visible agency. After the party 
broke up. Sir David, in the course of conversation, said, " I 
should have liked if we had been all standing when the 
table Ufted." Sir David, Mr. TroUope, and Mr. Eymer 

F 2 



68 IN ENGLAND. 

then sat down to see if it were possible to move the table or 
to raise it by their feet, but it could not be moved by the 
united efforts of the feet of all three. Sir David was invited 
to come the next evening for the purpose of complying with 
his request of standing at the table, but he could not come, 
having a pre-engagement. 

This table, which was twelve feet long, has been sometimes 
completely turned over, replaced, and again turned over, 
all our hands being on the surface. Occasionally it has 
been moved while we were all standing, without any one 
touching it, even with their hands. 

Mr. TroUope came on the following evening, we sat 
round the same table as on the previous evening ; the alpha- 
bet was called for, and three of us were told to go into 
another room, to get a smaller table, and stand. We were 
net to sit, but to stand. We did so — and a heavy card 
table, on pillar and claws, and which was brought from 
another room, and at which we had never sat before, was 
repeatedly lifted off the ground at least twenty inches. 

One evening a gentleman was present when it was inti- 
mated to him through the alphabet by knocks on the table 
that his aunt Dorothy was present ; he was surprised, and 
assured us that could not be so, for he never had an aunt ; 
he afterwards wrote to his sister, who was residing in the 
north of England, and this was her reply : — 

" I never heard of our father having a sister, there were 
four sons, and their father died when they were all very 
young ; but I expect to see my elder sister who knows more 
of our family, and I will ask her. 

" P.S. — She has just come, and I find ov/r father had a 
sister — our grandfather was twice married ; by his first wife 
he had one daughter whose name was Dorothy, and who 
died an infant, and who, of course, was our aunt." 

One evening as Mr. Eymer was passing through the 
room he stood for a few moments at the end of the table. 
His attention was arrested by the sounds, and it was stated 
to be his little boy, who had passed away some years before. 
He asked if he recollected how pleased he was when on earth 



IK ENGLAND. 69 

to place liim a cliair on liis return home, the cliair was im- 
mediately moved round the comer of the table, by no 
visible agency. It was placed behind him, and he sat down 
upon it. 

This was in the presence of five persons, one of whom was 
the editor of a well-known work on the ** Occult Sciences." 
All at the table saw the chair moved to where the father was 
standing. The hands of all were on the table ; no one 
knew that he intended to ask for a chair, and until that 
instant, he said, that he did not know it himself. 

Another evening we were told through the alphabet that 
the same little boy was present in spirit. It was asked if 
he could write as on earth, and he answered that he would try. 
A sheet of note paper, clean, and without any writing on it 
of any description was taken, and placed on the cloth. The 
brass fastenings of the table were then displaced one by one, 
and fell to the ground ; the table was opened or pulled out 
by no human agency ; every one in the room was seated 
at the table and had their hands on its surface. It was then 
asked if the paper and pencil should be placed on the table 
near the opening under the cloth ; three sounds, " Yes." 
Immediately the form of a small hand was seen under the 
cloth. It was felt by some who placed their hands upon it. 
The paper and pencil were then removed, the form of the 
hand disappearing at the same time. In a few minutes the 
same form of hand was again seen replacing the paper and 
the pencil, the alphabet was called for : " Bear papa, I have 
really done my best** The father removed the paper and 
pencil, and on that paper was written, "Dear papa, dear 
mamma," and signed " Wat." Watty was the name of the 
child. No one was previously aware that it was intended to 
ask for this to be done. 

At Sandgate in Kent, where I stayed for some time, at a 
stance, we numbered thirteen. The table was elevated at 
least two feet, and the accordion was played. The tune was 
not known to any of us. We asked the name, and were 
told that it was the *' Song of the Sea." A hand and arm 
in white drapery appeared, it was seen by all at the table on 



70 



IN ENGLAND. 



several occasions during the evening, and they had every 
opportunity of carefully examining it. 

A few evenings afterwards the table was near the window. 
It was twilight. Sounds were heard on the accordion. The 
tune was new to us, and we were told that it was the " Song 
of the Angels to the Mourners." It was followed by a hymn 
which had been frequently played before. It was spelt 
out by sounds on the table, some wUl shew you their hands 
to-night The table was gently raised and lifted up 
several times, a hand appeared above the table and took from 
the dress of one of the party a miniature brooch, and handed 
it to several at the table. Hands amd arms were then distinctly 
seen by all at the table of different forms and sixes : sometimes 
crossed as in prayer, and at other times pointing upwa/rds : 
on another occasion sounds were heard, communications were 
made, and hands and arms in white d/rapery were again seen. 
A spirit hand took up a Bible which was on the table, and 
opened it. This was seen by all, and a leaf was/oWeci down, the 
hand took a pencil and marked the two verses sixteen and 
seventeen of the thirteenth chapter of St. Matthew : " But 
blessed are your eyes, for they see : and your ears, for they 
hear. For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and 
righteous men have desired to see things which ye see, and 
have not seen them ; and to hear these things which ye hear, 
and have not heard them." 

At this time hands and arms were frequently seen, and 
they were repeatedly felt by all at the table as distinctly as 
though they were the hands and arms of living mortals, and 
frequently they shook hands with them as really and 
substantially as one man shakes hands with another. 

Of all the accounts which have been given of the pheno- 
mena there has been none so good as that of Dr. J. J. Gt 
Wilkinson, who towards the close of the Brewster contro- 
versy, wrote a letter to the " Morning Advertiser," under the 
signature of Verax. He had been frequently present at 
stances, and was eminently qualified not only for the inves- 
tigation, but for a philosophical expression of their results 
• and consequences, and I need oflfer no apology for giving at 



IN EKaLAND. 71 

length his eloquent narration which was entitled " Evenings 
with Mr. Home and the Spirits." 

" The * Great Wizard of the North ' has roused atten- 
tion to the subject of spiritual manifestations in such a man- 
ner, that everybody is talking about them ; and, moreover, 
the country papers are the battle-ground of letters pro and 
con, , which debate the subject >vith some warmth ; and, where- 
ever a name can be got at, with a little personality. But, 
hitherto, I have seen no statement of the experience of any 
of the writers in regard to these manifestations. This is to 
be regretted, perhaps, because by bringing forward expe- 
riences and explanations, the subject might have been divested 
of some of that heat which is so bad a scientific medium. I 
will now endeavour, with your permission, to tell what I 
saw and felt on three separate evenings, stating them in 
their order. 

" It was late in the spring of this year that I was invited 
by a friend, weU known in the literary world, to pay a visit 
to the lodgings of Mr. Daniel Dunglas Home, then recently 
arrived from America, for the purpose of witnessing certain 
remarkable phenomena alleged to be from supernatural causes. 
Many feelings prompted me to accept the invitation ; as, also, 
did the knowledge that Mr. Home was familiarly known, as 
a plain honest man, to Dr. Gray, the first homoeopathic phy- 
sician in New York, and for whose character I have the 
highest esteem. 

" I went to his house in Jermyn Street, and introduced 
myself on the appointed evening to Mr. Home, who, I 
found, was a modest, intelligent youth of about twenty, 
in ill-health; and, indeed, as he himself informed me, 
and as, on inspection, I found to be the case, with the marks 
of consumption legible upon his frame. My wife accom- 
panied me, and I met in Mr. H's rooms three friends, all of 
them men of talent and integrity. Bent upon narrative, 
and not upon defence or hostility, I will omit nothing ; and 
so I here observe that we were, all of us, believers, before- 
hand, in the possibility of spiritual manifestations. 

" Before sitting down in * the circle,' I asked Mr. Home . 



72 IN EKGLAND. 

for some acconnt of his antecedents. To the best of mv 
recollection he gave the following particulars. He was bom 
in Scotland, and was taken to America when a child. Very 
early in life he used to surprise those with whom he was, by 
spontaneously narrating, as scenes passing before his eyes, 
distant events, such as the death of friends and relatives ; 
and these instanced of second sight were found 1;o be true 
telegraphy. It was not his fault — ^he could not help seeing 
them. Later on in his career, various noises were heard in 
the room beside him. This was about the time when the 
spiritual * rapping' became known in America. 

" He lived with an aunt, who was greatly scandalised at 
these circumstances. A member of the Presbyterian Church, 
these knockings even accompanied him to Divine worship ; 
and, coming to the knowledge of his ecclesiastical overmen, 
he was adjudged to be the victim of satanic influences, and 
either excommimicated, or otherwise banished from the con- 
gregation. Afterwards he became a medical student; but 
ill-health forced him to abandon the idea of pursuing medi- 
cine as a calling- Such were the heads of what he told us, 
in answer to our enquiries, about himself. 

" We were in a large upper room, rather bare of furniture ; 
a sofa, a large round table, and a little buffet, together with 
a few chairs, were the fittings up. One of the party had 
brought with him a hand-bell and an accordion. We sat 
aroimd the table, with the hands resting upon it. In a few 
minutes the table vibrated, or shuddered, as though actuated 
from within ; it then became still, and instantly every one of 
us shook in his chair, not violently, but intimately, and like 
a jelly, so that objects * dothered' before us. This effect 
ceased ; and now the heavy table, with all our hands upon it, 
raised itself high up on its side, and rocked up and down ; 
the raising proceeding from all different quarters, Mr. Home 
and all the rest of us (excepting our hands and arms, which 
were necessarily moved,) sitting death-still. The lamp on 
the table seemed as if it must tumble off ; but he assured 
us there was no danger of thai — ^that it was held safely 
in its place. The hand-bell had been placed upon the 



IN ENGLAND. 



73 



wooden rim round the pedestal of the table, and it now began 
to ring, apparently under different parts of the circle. Mr. 
Home said that the spirits were carrying it to one of the 
party, and suggested myself. I was sitting nearly op- 
posite to him, at about three feet distance. I put my 
hand down under the margin of the table, and in perhaps 
a minute'8 time, I felt the lip of the bell poked up gently 
against the tips of my fingers, as if to say, ' I am here, 
take me.' This palpitation of the bell continued until 
I moved my fingers up its side to grasp it. When I came 
to the handle, I slid my fingers on rapidly, and now, 
every hand but my own being on the table, I distinctly 
felt the fingers, up to the palm, of a hand holding the bell. 
It was a soft, warm, fleshy, substantial hand, such as 
I should be glad to feel at the extremity of the friendship of 
my best friends. But I had no sooner grasped it momen- 
tarily, than it melted away, leaving my hand void, with the 
bell only in it. 1 now held the bell lightly, with the clapper 
downwards, and while it remained perfectly still, I could 
plainly feel fingers ringing it by the clapper. As a point of ob- 
servation I will remark that I should feel no more difficulty in 
swearing that the member I felt was a human hand of extra- 
ordinary life, and not Mr. Home's foot, than that the nose of 
the Apollo Belvidere is not a horse's ear. I dwell chiefly, be- 
cause I can speak surely, on what happened to myself, though 
every one round the table had somewhat similar experiences. 
The bell was carried under the table to each, and rung in the 
hand of each. The accordion was now placed beneath the 
table, and presently we heard it moving along. Mr. Home 
put down his hand to the margin, and the instrument 
was given to him. With one hand upon the table, and 
with the other grasping the white wood at the bottom 
of the accordion, he held it bottom upwards, the keys 
hanging down over, and the instrument resting for support 
on his right knee. It played * Home, sweet home,' and ' God 
save the Queen,' with a delicacy of tone which struck every 
one present : I never heard silence threaded with such silver 
lines. Afterwards, in the same way, we were favoured with 



74 IN ENGLAND. 

* The Last Rose of Summer.' The accordion was then taken 
to each member of the party in succession ; we could hear it 
rustling on its way between our knees and the pedestal of the 
table ; and in the hand of each person, a few notes, but no 
whole tunes, were played. When in my own hand, I par- 
ticularly noticed the great amount of force which was exerted 
by the player. It was difficult to hold the instrusient from 
the strong downward pull, and had I not been somewhat 
prepared for this, the accordion would have fallen upon the 
floor. In the course of the evenmg we all felt either a iinger, 
fingers, or a whole hand, placed upon our knees, always with 
a pleasant impression at the time. A white cambric hand- 
kerchief was drawn slowly under the table, and in the course 
of a few minutes handed to another person, tied in two knots, 
and put as a bouquet into the bell. And this experiment 
also was repeated for nearly all present. While these things 
were going on, rappings were heard in all parts of the room, 
in the table, in the floor, and the ceiling ; and sometimes 
they were so loud, that the medium requested the spirits to 
remember that he was only a lodger, and that these noises 
might disturb the people in the rooms above and below. 
They were very unlike the * Great Wizard's' raps, and 
occurred indiflferently, as I said before, in all places and 
comers of the chamber. Towards the end of the seance, five 
distinct raps were heard imder the table, which number, Mr. 
Home said, was a call for the alphabet. Accordingly, an 
alphabet was made ; and on Mr. Home asking if any spirit 
was present who wished to speak to one of the party, the 
following sentence was given by the alphabetic telegraph : — 

* My dear E — , Imortality is a great truth. Oh ! how I 
wish my dear wife could have been present. — D.C Ili pur- 
ported to be a near relation of one of those present, who died 
last year. The spelling * imortality,* surprised me at first ; 
but I recollected that the deceased, whom I knew well, was 
constantly versed in black letter writing, which makes elisions 
in that way. This ended, the medium fell into an apparently 
mesmeric trance, from which he addressed some good words 
of exhortation to each of us ; and told one of the party in 



IN ENGIiAND. 



75 



particular, seyeral details about deceased members of the 
family, wbich were not known in the circle at the time, but 
verified to the letter afterwards. These, I forbear to men- 
tion, because they were of a strictly private nature. In his 
address, Mr. Home spoke, not as from himself, but as from 
the spirit assembly which was present ; and he ended with a 
courteous * Gk)od night,* from them. 

" Considering that it requires a large apparatus of prepara- 
tion for the greatest of wizards to effect the smallest part of 
what we saw on this evening, namely, a few raps, one might 
have expected that Mr. Home would have had rather bulging 
pockets, to do what I have related, but I can assure your 
readers, that he was as meagre and unencumbered as the 
scantiest dresser need be : he had no assistants, and no screens. , 
When, during the evening, I asked if the jugglers did their 
tricks by means similar to the agencies there present, the raps 
said * No :' but in a pronounced manner they said * Yes,* 
when the same question was put with regard to the * Indian 
Jugglers.' We also asked Mr. Home why the effects 
generally took place wider the table, and not upon it. He 
said that in habituated circles the results were easily obtained 
above board, visibly to all, but that at a first sitting it was 
not so. That scepticism was almost imiversal in men's in- 
tellects, and marred the forces at work ; that the spirits ac- 
complish what they do through our life-sphere, or atmosphere, 
which was permeated by our wills ; and if the will was 
contrary, the sphere was unfit for being operated upon. 

" It was perhaps a fortnight after this that Mr. Home 
came by invitation, to my own house, to sit in the circle of 
my family. He was brought to the door in a carriage 
by some friends, with whom he was staying, without 
any paraphernalia which would characterize a wizard's 
art. I watched him walk up the garden, and can aver 
that he had no magic wand up his trouser leg, nor any 
hunch in his dress that could betoken machinery or appa- 
ratus of any kind whatever. Arrived in the drawing-room, 
the ' raps ' immediately commenced in all parts of it, and 
were also heard in the back drawing-room, which opens into 



7Q IN ENGLAND. 

the front by folding doors. The party assembled to consti- 
tute the * circle ' consisted of Mr. Home, my wife, my four 
children, and myself, and two domestics. We sat round a 
large and heavy loo table, which occupied the centre of the 
room. In a minute or two the same inward thrill went 
through the table as I have described in the first stance ; 
and the chairs also, as before, thrilled under us so vividly, 
that my youngest daughter jumped up from hers, exclaim- 
ing, * Oh ! Papa, there's a heart in my chair,' which we all 
felt to be a correct expression of the sensation conveyed. 
From time to time the table manifested considerable move- 
ments, and after cracking, and apparently undulating in its 
place, with all our hands upon it, it suddenly rose from its 
place bodily some eight inches into the air, and floated waver- 
ing in the atmosphere, maintaining its position above the 
ground for half a minute, or while we slowly counted twenty- 
nine. Its oscillations during this time were very beautiful, re- 
minding us all of a flat disc of deal on an agitated surface of 
water. It then descended as rapidly as it rose, and so 
nicely was the descent managed, that it met the floor T^ith 
no noise, and as though it would scarcely have broken an e^^ 
in its contact. Three times did it leave the floor of the room, 
and poise itself in mid air, always in the same manner. 
During these intervals the medium was in a state of the 
completest muscular repose ; nor, indeed, had he had the 
toe of Hercules for a lever could he have managed this 
effect, for he and all of us stood up each time, to follow the 
mounting table, and he stood with as complete absence of 
strain as the rest of us. It requires two strong men to lifb 
the table to that height ; one person might throw it over, 
but could by no means raise it from the floor. 

" The travelling of the hand-bell under the table was also 
repeated for every one present, and this time they all felt the 
hand, or hands, either upon their knees, or other portions of 
their limbs. I put my hand down as previously, and was 
regularly stroked on the back of it by a soft palpable hand as 
before. Nay, I distinctly felt the whole arm against mine, 
and once grasped the hand, but it melted as on the first oc- 



IN ENGLAND. 



77 



casion ; and immediately a call was made for the alphabet, 
there being something to communicate. The * spirits ' now 
spelt out through Mr. Home, who had known nothing of 
what I had done under the table, * Do not grasp our hands.' 
I asked why, and Mr. Home said that they had great dif- 
ficulty in presenting, and thus rapidly incarnating these 
hands out of the vital atmospheres of those present, and that 
their work was spoilt, and had to be recommenced, when 
they were interfered with, perhaps as a thought is sometimes 
broken in twain, and cannot easily be resumed on the irrup- 
tion of a stranger. Diuring the seance I had the border of a 
white cambric handkerchief just appearing out of the side 
pocket of my paletot, which was open ; and though I could 
see no agency, I felt something twitching at the handkerchief, 
and very gradually drawing it from my pocket. Simulta- 
neously with this, my eldest daughter, who sat opposite to 
me, exclaimed, 'Oh! I see phosphoric fingers at papa's 
pocket !' and, now visibly to all, the handkerchief was slowly 
pulled out, and drawn under the table ; whilst, at the same 
time I felt an arm that was doing it, but which was invisible 
to me. At this time I was at least three feet from Mr. 
Home, with a person between us, and he was absolutely 
passive. The feeling I had was of nudges, as distinct as 
ever I felt from a mortal limb, and that on my breast and arm, 
which were above the table ; and yet, though the operation 
of abstracting my handkerchief was going on visibly to all, 
the rest of the circle, as well as myself (all except my eldest 
daughter), could see nothing. I can swear that there was no 
machinery, unless the skin, bone, muscle, and tendons of an 
unseen hand, forearm and elbow deserve the name. 

" While this was going on, and for about ten minutes, 
more or less, my wife felt the sleeve of her dress pulled 
frequently, and as she was sitting with her finger ends 
clasped and hands open, with palms semi-prone upon the 
table she suddenly laughed involuntarily, and said, * Oh ! 
see there is a little hand lying between mine ; and, now, a 
larger hand has come beside it. The little hand is smaller 
than any baby's, and exqiiisitely perfect.' Our domestics, and 



?8 IN ENGLAND. 

two of the children, as well as my wife, all saw these hands, 
and watched them for between one and two minutes, when 
they disappeared. I now held my watch at the table side, 
the key in my hand, the chain and watch dangling from it, 
and I felt the weight of the watch gradually taken off, the 
chain being raised horizontally to my hand, and then the key, 
which I retained, was pulled laterally, and I let it go. It was 
taken under the table to my youngest daughter, and put on 
her knee. Whenever objects were thus removed from the hand, 
they were taken with a degree of physical power sufficient to 
suggest that the agent was capable of holding the object with- 
out letting it fall. An hour and three-quarters were occupied 
in these and similar manifestations, of which I have men- 
tioned only the most striking, or those personal to myself; 
and now Mr. Home passed into the trance state, spoke of 
the spii'it life, and the coming knowledge of it on earth, and 
said a few words apposite to each person present ; dwelling 
also upon the spiritual attendants who were standing beside 
each. When he came to my wife he lifted up his hands in an 
ecstacy, and described a spirit with her, most tiny, but beau- 
tiful. He said it was a little sister who had gone away a 
long time. * But,' she said, * I never had such a sister.' 
* Yes, you had, though she had no name on earth.' On 
inquiry in the family, an event, such as he alluded to, had 
happened. This is the chief part of what struck me in 
Stance No. 2. 

" At 10 p.m., Mr. Home went away on his own legs, so 
limber that I never so much as thought of any explanation 
of pasteboard arms or electric batteries concealed about his 
person. 

" The next seance which I shall describe took place about 
the third week in July, at the house of a valued friend in 
Ealing, who had become convinced of the genuineness of the 
phenomena which accompanied Mr. Home, and with whom 
that gentleman was now staying. The party sat down to 
the table with Mr. Home, in the dusk of a fine evening, and 
were rine or ten in number. Here again I am forced to 
chronicle chiefly what befel myself, in order that I may be 



IN ENGLAND. 



79 



no Becond-hand witness. The first thing I remarked was a 
gentle tremulous flash of light through the room, but what 
was the cause of it I am unable to determine. When we 
had sat a few minutes I felt a decided but gentle grasp of a 
large man's hand upon my right knee, and I said to Mr. H., 

* There is a man's hand upon my knee.' * Who is it ?' he 
said. * How should I know ?' was my reply. * Ask,' said 
he. * But how shall I ask ?' * Think of somebpdy,' was 
his answer. I thought involuntarily of an intimate friend, 
once a Member of Parliament, and as much before the public 
as any man in his generation, and who died on the 30th of 

June last. And I said aloud, * Is it ?' Hearty 

affirmative slaps on the knee from the same hand, which 
had remained fixed till then, were the reply to my question. 

* I am glad to be again in the same room with you,' 
said I. Again the same hearty greeting was repeated. 
'Are you better?' I inquired. A still more joyous suc- 
cession of slaps, or rather, if I may coin a word, of accus- 
sions ; for the hand was cupped to fit my bent knee, and 
gently struck me in that form. * Have you any message 
to your wife, whom I shall probably see in a few days?' 
Again, affirmative touches, five in number, therefore calling 
for the alphabet. Mr. Home now called over the alphabet. 
A B C D, and when he called T, my knee was struck ; again 
when he said H and E, and so on, until this was spelled out : 

* THE IMMORTAL LOVES.' I remember at the time thinking 
that this was rather a thin message ; but the next time I 

saw Mrs. I told her the circumstances, and gave 

her the words. Her son was sitting with her, and said, 

* That is very characteristic of my father, for it was a 
favourite subject of speculation with him, whether or not the 
affections survive the body ; of the immortality of the soul 
itself he never doubted ; but the words, the immortal loves, 
show that he has settled the problem of his life.' Such 
was the import which the family of the deceased quite un- 
expectedly to me conferred upon the phrase. To return to 
Ealing, and that evening, after the last stroke of the hand 
had indicated the end of the sentence, 1 said, ' If it is really 



80 IN ENGLAND. 

you, will you sliake hands witli me ?' and I put my hand 
under the table, and now the same soft and capacious hand 
was placed in mine, and gave it a cordial shaking. I could 
not help exclaiming, ' This hand is a portrait. I know it 
from five years' constant intercourse, and &om the daily 
grasp and holding of the last several months !' After this 
it left my knee ; and when I asked if there was anything 
more, there was no response, and the agent appeared to be 
gone. But in two or three minutes more another hand, 
evidently also a man's, but small, thin, firm, and lively, was 
placed in the same position which the former had occupied ; 
and after some preliminary questioning with Mr. Home, I 

said, * Is it Mr. ?' naming another valued friend, who, 

after twenty years of suffering, had departed this life almost 

on the same day as Mr. . With liveliest finger tips, the 

affirming hand danced up and down my leg, and upon my 
knee. I said, * I am glad to find you are so much better.' 
The playful hand beat * yes ' again. And this, in reply to 
renewed questions, for two or three minutes. Then I said, 
* Have you any communication for your wife when I see her ?' 
There was no response, and that agent there ceased to mani- 
fest himself. After another short pause, a totally different 
hand, a lady's, came to me, rested in my hand under the 
table, rubbed my hand, and allowed me at leisure to examine 
the delicate, beautiful, and warmth-raying fingers. It was 

signified that it was Mrs. , whom I had known in life, 

and who wished to greet me. Between and during what 
happened to myself, many of the rest of the circle were 
touched; and described their impressions much as I have 
described mine. Some had merely a single finger put upon 
their knees. Mr. Home said that the presenting spirits 
could often make one finger where they could not make two : 
and two, where they could not form an entire hand ; just as 
they could form a hand where they could not realize a whole 
human figure ; and he also said that this was one reason 
why they did not show themselves ^^boveboard, because they 
did not iike imperfect members to be seen. 

" These phenomena occupied less than an hour ; and now 



IN ENGLAND. 81 

the circle was broken up, and reconstituted, nine persons, to 
the best of my recollection, being arranged at the table. The 
table was placed opposite a window, and the bright moon- 
beams streamed down upon its side. There was no candle 
in the apartment. The space of table which fronted the 
window was not occupied by sitters ; but the company sat 
round about three-fourths of it, leaving the rest vacant. The 
right wing of the party was terminated by Mr. Home ; the 
left by the son of the host. In a few minutes' time, close 
beside the latter gentleman, there emerged into sight above 
the rim of the table, in the vacant space, a delicately beau- 
tiful female hand and pai-t of the forearm, apparently of 
ghostly tenuity. As I was sitting exactly opposite the vacant 
space, I had a fair opportunity of watching this hand as it 
projected against the moonlight ; it was a filmy-looking wo- 
man's hand, with the fingers drooping forwards from left to 
right as I sat. The hand curved up over the table margin, 
deliberately grasped a hand-bell placed near, and carrying it 
partly down, let it drop upon the floor. It then rose to 
sight again, and took away a cambric handkerchief also 
placed near, which was tied in two knots under the table, 
and presented to one of the company, who had been 
strongly moved &om the time that this hand was first seen. 
I forbear to give the farther details of this hand, because 
they seemed to be of a private nature ; suffice it to say, that 
it caused no httle emotion to a gentleman who seemed con- 
cerned. On its disappearance, another hand, large, strong, 
and with the fingers extended, and pushed bolt up in the 
moonlight, rose above the table near to Mr. Home. He 
cried out, * Oh ! keep me from that hand ! it is so cold ! 
Do not let it touch me !' Shortly it also vanished, and a 
third hand was seen at the other side of the vacant table 
edge : this hand was in a glove. Then presently a fourth 
hand ascended on the extreme left — a lady's hand, of beau- 
tiful proportions — and traversed the entire vacant space from 
left to right, rising, andt displaying the forearm; and then, 
as it neared Mr. Home, the entire arm. When it reached 
him, the hand was level with his forehead, upon which it 

a 



82 IK ENGLAND. 

laid its palm, and with its fingers put his hair back, and 
played upon his brow for perhaps half a minute. I was 
sitting next but one to him, and leant forward past my in- 
termediate neighbour, at the same time requesting that if 

the hand belonged to my friend Mrs. , it might also be 

laid on my forehead. This was deliberately done ; and I 
felt its thrilling impression as the palm was laid flat upon 
my brow, where it remained for several seconds, it was 
warm and human, and made of no material but softest 
flesh. During the interval in which I felt it, I had abun- 
dant opportunity of examining most closely the arm and 
forearm. The forearm sleeve api>eared to be of white cam- 
bric, plain and neat, and it shone like biscuit-porcelain in 
the moonlight. The sleeve of the dress up the arm was 
darker, but I do not remember the colour. And bending 
over, as I did, to the vacant rim of the table, I saw how the 
arm terminated — apparently in a graceful cascade of drapery ; 
much as though an arm were put out through the peak of a 
snowy tent, the apex of which thus fell around the shoulder 
on every side. On leaving my forehead, the arm at once 
disappeared, and I watched it go. It was drawn into the 
sime drapery ; but so naturally that I can only liken it to a 
fountain falling down again, and ceasing into the bosom of 
the water from which it rose. And I also saw the drapery 
itself vanish, apparently by the same dissipative process. 
And now the spirits spelt out * Good night.' 

" These events occurred in the house of one of my oldest 
friend's, whose superior in integrity I have never known, and 
of whose talent and sagacity I never heard a doubt enter- 
tained, until he endorsed these unpopular manifestations. 

" Such is my experience. One hope I have in putting it 
forward is, that others who have seen Mr. Home may do the 
like, and thus make their contribution to the facts of the 
case. 

" In conclusion, I will observe, that Sir David Brewster, 
and others almost as eminent, appear to me to make a 
scientific error in one respect — ^viz., in their estimate of the 
value of a man's character. They seem to think that charg- 



IN ENGLAND. 83 

ing a mail of good antecedents, and with every appearance 
of a blameless life, with lying and imposture of the most 
systematic kind, is positively the easiest account that can be 
given of any rare phenomenon out of the pale of their own 
previous philosophy. I submit that this is not, for their 
own credit, the very first hypothesis of the case that ought 
to rush into their minds. Neither, parallel with this, is the 
other hypothesis that men of ability in all other things, and 
till then, known to be shrewd and searching, are infatuated 
dupes, to be commended as a proper valuation of what is 
rare and valuable in the human species. The rule of law, 
that " a man must be supposed innocent till proved guilty," 
is also the rule in such scientific explorations. This rule 
loves facts, and hates slander. I differ, therefore, with Sir 
David Brewster in his mode of exploration, and also in his 
valuation of presumptive honesty and human testimony, 
which always hitherto has been the most substantial word 
in the world, and a pillar which Divine Providence has not 
disdained to use in supporting the canopy of His Eevela- 
tions. 

" This rule I would especially press upon the great Sir 
David Brewster, a man of position, wealth, worldly repute, 
great talents, a name no one dare assail, and withal, respon- 
sibility to Heaven and his generation, when he is dealing 
with the orphan. Home, a man apparently as blameless as 
himself, but with neither riches, nor health, nor station, nor 
any possession if not honesty, and a ruinous peculiarity of 
gift. It is not, I say, the easiest way out of a difficulty, to 
call this youth a cheat. There are cheats of our own house- 
hold, cheats in our own heads, sometimes called prejudices, 
which might be suspected first, without violating any rule of 
scientific inquest, or humane valuation. 

" The experience of others in these matters has, perhaps, 
differed very widely from my own, and I desire to see this 
experience also brought forward. At other sdances I have 
seen only a part of the phenomena which I have described 
as taking place on the three evenings which I have selected 
as being the fullest and best. And once or twice, when per- 

G 2 



84 IN ENGLAND. 

sons were present whom it was most desirable to convince, 
almost nothing occurred. This, I submit, is one of the 
strongest arguments in Mr. Home's favour. Were the phe- 
nomena a trick, they might always be produced to order 
without variation. * The Great Wizard ' never fails. But 
as he himself says, the spiritualists always fail in his com- 
pany. Let this suggest that there is a total diflference be- 
tween him and them. It does not surprise me that spirits 
and their gifts should retire to a great gulf distance from 
where * the Q-reat Wizard' is. 

" It seems probable from experience as well as reason that, 
granting the phenomena to be spiritual, the presence of de- 
termined scoffers at, and disbelievers in them, should in 
case the said persons be preponderant in their influence in 
the circle, render the manifestations imperfect or perhaps 
null. The known laws of human sympathy, and the opera- 
tions of our own spirits when antipathetic persons are near 
us, may also be cited in proof of this. I conclude, then, 
that to the scoffer and the strongly prejudiced, who want no 
evidence, and to whom evidence has no appeal, evidence is, 
for the most part, not forthcoming. This simplifies the 
position; but what still remains is the peculiar Christian 
politesse of this century, viz., the necessity of good manners 
and the agreeing to differ. On the part of those who be- 
lieve, this may be best secured by letting the other party be. 
Providence can convince them, too, as easily as ourselves, 
when the time and their function comes, but by snatching 
at them prematurely before they are ripe, we may evoke, on 
a great scale, two of the most formidable spirits of this 
world — ^Weath and Feab. 

" As a final remark, let me caution the public against being 
led by Sir David Brewster, Mr. Faraday, and other men of 
great names in their own departments, in this matter which 
is obviously not within their field. We hear much of not 
choosing Crimean generals on old Peninsular qualifications. 
But to select a Faraday or a Brewster for opinion on this 
case, is a far worse error ; for all generals, past, present, and 
to come, are in the military line ; but these great men are not 



IN ENGLAND. 85 

and never were in the line upon which they have professed to 
decide. They are so alien to the subject, that they do not 
know the first condition of prosecuting it, namely, a gift of 
sympathy, and openness to conviction. Their very specialty 
of excellence in physical explorations, is against them in this 
new walk, which is combined spiritual and physical. The 
common observer with little in his mind, with no repute to 
support, and no case to uphold, may perchance be equipped 
by nature for these revolutionary sciences where the savana 
are stupid upon them. Twelve fishermen, and not the High 
Priests, are the everlasting resource of Providence. I there- 
fore invite the imattached laity of all descriptions, the willing 
fishermen, to remember that they have no overmen in this 
department ; that it is an untrodden field ; and that by the 
grace of Grod, there is at last a freedom for us all from the 
pressure of big names; because * the race is not to the swift, 
nor the battle to the strong.' " 

The admirable narrative and reasoning of this letter leave 
nothing further to be said as to the manifestations during 
the remainder of my stay in England during the year, as I 
found it desirable to change the climate for that of Italy in 
the autumn. But I did not leave England without the 
satisfaction of having given opportunities to many hundreds 
of persons to investigate the phenomena for themselves, and 
through them the subject began to assume a form and im- 
portance which ha^ve made it the fear and the bugbear of 
those who had completed their circle of knowledge, and have 
no room in their philosophy for farther facts. There are 
unfortunately many, whose minds have been in early life 
stereotyped in too hard and unyielding a material, to admit 
of either corrections or additions. 



86 



CHAPTEE V. 

AT FLOBENCE, NAPLES, BOME, AND PABIS. 

Early in the autumn of 1856 I went to Florence accom- 
panied by the son of the gentleman with whom I had been 
residing at Ealing. I remained in Florence till the month of 
February, 1856, and although some persons there did all they 
could to injure me by false statements, I was only the more 
cherished by those who best knew me. I met there many 
distinguished men and women, and a Prince of one of the 
Eoyal Houses became deeply interested in what he witnessed. 
The manifestations while I was at Florence were very strong, 

I remember on one occasion while the Countess O was 

seated at one of Erard's grand action pianos, it rose and 
balanced itself in the air during the whole time she was 
playing. She also, whilst we were seated at a table in the 
room, took up an album which chanced to be lying there, 
and said, " Now if this is in reality the spirit of my dear 
feither, I know you would wish to convince me, you can do 
so if you will, write your name on this page." She opened the 
book and placed it on her knees, and held a lead pencil in her 
hand. In a moment the pencil was taken out of her hand, 

and the name of her father, the Count O , was written. 

On examination she said, " There is a slight resemblance to 
your writing, but I would wish it to be more distinct." 
She placed the open book again on her knees, and again the 
writing came in the same way, and also the words, " My 

dear daughter ." This last writing she cut from my 

album, leaving in it the words first written, where they still 
are ; and on going home she showed it to an old friend of 



AT PLOBENCE, NAPLES, ROME, AND PAfilS. 87 

her father's, saying, " Do you know whose writing that is ?" 
" Of course," he said, " it is your father's." When the 
Countess told him it had been written that very evening, 
he thought that to a certainty she had lost her senses, and on 
appealing to her husband, and finding that he corroborated 
her statement, he was equally alarmed for them both. 

At the house of an English resident at Florence, I had 
many seaaces at which the power was very great, and she 
wrote a private account of some of the phenomena, which will 
show the reader the nature and extent of the manifestations at 
that time, I am very glad that I am able thus to give the 
results of the observations of others rather than my own un- 
supported statements. The lady says : 

" The house in which I at present reside, and which, for 
some years past, has been my home, is a large, rambling, 
old-fashioned villa in the neighbourhood of Florence, whose 
internal architecture gives evidence of its having been built 
at different periods — those periods probably distant from 
each other. 

" The oldest parts of the house, judging from the orna- 
ments of a chapel which forms part of it, must, I should say, 
have been constructed in the early part of the sixteenth 
century. The rooms which I occupy are almost immediately 
above the chapel, and communicate on one side with the 
lower part of the house by a narrow stone staircase. On 
first coming to reside here we learned that the villa had, in 
common with many others of the same description, the 
reputation of being haunted. Strange lights it was said had 
been seen issuing from the chapel windows, and unearthly 
noises heard in that part of the house to which I have 
alluded. Some friends passed the winter with us some five 
or six years since, and their servant occupied a small room 
on an entresol between the chapel and my rooms, but his 
rest became so broken, and he described the noises he heard 
as so peculiar, that he requested to be allowed to sleep else- 
where. I was formerly much in the habit of dismissing my 
maid early, and sitting up either reading or writing until a 
late hour. At such times I have been suddenly seized with 



88 AT PLOEENCE, NAPLES, 

a strange fearfalness, a kind of nervous dread, more easily 
imagined than described. In fact, it would be impossible to 
define my sensations at those moments, further than by 
saying that I felt I was no longer alone. This feeling; 
usually lasted from five to ten minutes, and invariably left a 
painful impression on my spirits. I also often heard a pe- 
culiar rustling sound in my room, and around mv bed, as 
though some one were agitating the bed curtains,' and this 
sound was invariably accompanied by a chilliness, as if a 
door had been suddenly opened, and a strong current of 
cold wind had rushed with violence into the room. 

" These sounds and the other painful sensations which I 
have described, and which I was totally unable to explain, 
continued at intervals with greater or lesser degrees of in- 
tensity until the month of October, 1855, when much sensa- 
tion was created in Florence by the arrival of Mr. Home, 
whose reputation as a spirit medium had rendered him cele- 
brated. A short time after his arrival in Florence, the 
sounds in my room became more distinct and more frequent, 
and the very peculiar nervous feelings of which I have 
spoken, were not confined so exclusively to myself, but were 
frequently shared by my sister, if she remained any time in 
my room. My rest at length became so broken, and in 
consequence my health so impaired, that I had my bed 
removed into a room adjoining the one in which I had been 
in the habit of sleeping, hoping that the change would 
bring me quiet. 

" The first night was undisturbed, but the next and suc- 
ceeding nights were so painful that I frequently lay awake 
until morning. In the meantime, we made Mi*. Home's 
acquaintance, and having been a witness of effects so won- 
derful as only to be ascribed to a supernatural cause, I de- 
termined to discover, if possible, through his agency, the 
real secret of my haunted rooms. 

" Mr. Home having been invited to make a stay of a few 
days in our house, was on the first day of his arrival made 
acquainted with the mystery of my rooms, and he proposed 
that a seance should be held in them for the purpose of 



BOME, AND FAJKI3. 89 

endeavouring to ascertain wliether or not the strange sounds 
which disturbed me were to be attributed to supernatural 
agency. Accordingly about eleven o'clock on that same 
evening, my sister, Mr. Home and myself repaired to my 
room, and placed ourselves at a small round table in front 
of, and very near the fire-place. "We were warmly covered, 
and the fire was blazing brightly; yet the cold that pervaded 
the room' was intense, penetrating to the very bones. I 
should mention that for many previous days, I had suffered 
from what appeared to be a cold air, which was quite inde- 
pendent of the atmospheric temperature, blowing over my 
body, especially over the lower limbs. This feeling never left 
me, and all artificial means failed in destroying the sensation 
of chilliness. This same cold air was now felt by both my 
sister and Mr. Home to such a degree as to be painful to 
them also. I have since found that it is a frequent accom- 
paniment of the manifestations. 

" Previously to placing himself at the table, Mr. Home 
had descended to the chapel, where, however, aU was quiet. 
On reascending the stairs, he heard a sound as of a muflled 
bell tolling in the chapel. We had scarcely sat a moment 
at the table, when it began slowly to move about in diffe- 
rent directions, generally inclining towards the side on 
which I sat. Presently the movements became more vio- 
lent, and assumed, if I may be allowed the expression, an 
angry appearance. We asked if a spirit were present, and 
the table replied by making the three usual affirmative 
movements. 

" We then further inquired whether the spirit present 
were a good one, and were answered in the negative. We 
spoke in harsh terms, which seemed to irritate the spirit, 
for the demonstrations became very angry. A high backed 
old fashioned chair, which stood at a little distance from 
the table was suddenly, and without human contact^ drawn 
close to it, as though some one, in sitting down, had so 
drawn it. Nothing was, however, visible. Mr. Home pro- 
posed that we should move into the next room, my bed- 
room, and try whether apij further manifestations would be 



90 



AT FLORENCE, NAPLES, 



made there. We did so : but all remained quiet. We then 
returned to the room we had just quitted, and sat down at 
another table covered with a cloth. We had previously 
heard a rustling sound about, and under the tables, such 
a sound as would be made bj a person moving about in a 
heavy garment. This noise was accompanied by a scratch- 
ing on the wood of the table, as though some one were 
scraping it with his nails. We then distinctly saw the cloth 
on the side of the table next to me move up, as though a 
hand raised it from beneath. The hand appeared to be in 
a menacing attitude. Mr. Home was also often touched on 
the knee, and he described the touch as peculiarly strong 
and disagreeable. 

" We then entreated the spirit to leave us, requiring it 
should return on the following evening, and declare its pur- 
pose in thus tormenting us. This it promised, and on being 
further adjured in the name of the Holy Trinity to leave us, 
the demonstrations ceased. 

" The night was very unquiet. The sensation of cold, of 
which I have before spoken, accompanied me every where, 
and I heard a frequent scratching under my pillow, and on 
my bed. On the next evening we met again in my room, 
and were joined by two other persons, one a member of our 
family, the other, a gentleman known to Mr. Home, and 
who was then investigating this phenomenon, both men of 
strong nerve and dispassionate judgment. The usual cold 
was felt, and the table became much agitated. A small 
stiletto, which I use as a paper-knife, was taken from the 
table as by an invisible hand, and drawn from the sheath. 
The table was then lifted from the ground, and was vio- 
lently pushed across the room. It stopped opposite a door 
leading to the staircase, and we resumed our places. 

" A small hand-bell was taken from off the table, and 
violently rung in different directions. The dagger was 
thrown about under the table, and rubbed against Mr. 
Home's knees. My elbow was violently grasped by a hand, 
the fingers of which I distinctly saw — ^they were long, yellow 
and shining. Other persons present, who felt its grasp, 



KOME, AND PARIS. 91 

described its touch as claminy and horrible. I spoke gently 
to the spirit, who, in answer to my questions, said he was 
unhappy, and that perhaps I might be of some use to him. 
He promised to return and speak farther on the following 
evening, and after lifting the table several times high above 
our heads, he left us. 

" The whole of the next day I was more or less tormented 
by the cold air, which blew over my face and limbs, espe- 
cially in the evening, a short time before the hour appointed 
for the stance. This wind then became very strong, and 
again a hand raised the cloth of the table on which I was 
leaning, and touched my arm as if to remind me of my en- 
gagement. We repaired to my room, one member only of 
my family being present, my sister having suffered too 
much from alarm on the previous evening to join us. 

"The demonstrations of the table immediately began, but 
in a quieter manner than on former occasions. I imme- 
diately spoke (I should say that Italian was the only 
language used*), in a soothing manner. In reply to many 
questions the spirit told me he was unhappy, and had wan- 
dered about the house for many many years, that his name 
was Giannana, that he had been a monk, and had died in 
the room which I then occupied. I desired to know whether 
I should have masses said for the peace of his soul. He 
answered in the negative, but requested that I should pray 
that it might find some repose. I further begged him to 
tell me why on the previous evening he had made so much 
use of the little dagger, and he answered that in life he had 
but too well known how to employ it. He then promised 
me never again to return to my rooms; and since that 
evening those painful sensations and strange noises, of 
which I have spoken so much, have left me, and never have 
returned. Frequent stances, where good and loving spirits 
have given us comforting communications, have been since 

* Here the writer omits a rather curious circumstaiice. The Italian, she 
observed, was incorrectly spelled ; but, on afterwards comparing it with 
the state of the language in the sixteenth century, it was found to be 
correct. 



92 AT FLORENCE, NAPLES, 

held hy their own especial request in my room. The dagger 
has by them been drawn from its sheath, and the bell rung, 
as though the touch of holy hands were needful in order to 
destroy any painful recollections in my mind connected with 
these articles, or any reluctance I might feel to again make 
use of them. In fact my rooms seem to have undergone a 
complete purification, and I feel that whatever painful 
influence did once exist there, it has disappeared wholly, and 
I trust for ever." 

The above was written shortly after the strange event it 
records. On the 3rd of April, 1860, being then in London, 
I received a letter from the same lady, dated Florence, 
27th March, of which the following is an extract : 

" I believe I told you that the noises at the Villa are 
worse than ever, and the new proprietor is dreadfully dis- 
turbed by them. The house has been exorcised, but without 
effect. My own rooms are the most disturbed." 

On the 5th of December, 1855, whilst I was returning to my 
rooms late at night in Florence, the streets being deserted, 
I observed a man stepping from the doorway of the adjoin- 
ing house. I was on the step leading to my own door, and 
was looking up at the window to see if the servant was still 
up, when I received a violent blow on mj left side, the force of 
which and the emotion caused by it, threw me forward 
breathless in the corner of the doorway. The blow was 
again repeated on my stomach, and then another blow on 
the same place, and the attempted assassin cried out, 
" Dio mio, Dio mio," and turning with his arm out- 
stretched, he ran. I distinctly saw the gleam of his poignard, 
and as he turned, the light of the lamp also fell full on his 
face, but I did not recognise his features. I was perfectly 
powerless, and could not cry out or make any alarm, and I 
stood thus for at least two minutes after which I groped my 
way along the wall to the door of a neighbour, where I was 
admitted. I thought I must have received some serious 
injury, but on examining myself I found that the first blow 
had struck the door key, which I happened to have in my 
breast pocket, immediately over the region of my heart. I 



BOME, AND FABIS. 93 

wore a fur coat, and this had chanced to be twice doubled in 
front. The second blow had gone through the four folds of it, 
through a comer of my dress coat, my waistcoat, and the "band 
of my trousers, without inflicting any wound. The third blow 
had penetrated the four folds of my coat, and also my 
trowsers and linen, and made a slight incision, which bled, 
but not freely. 

I had that morning received from a dear friend, who had 
in his house a clairvoyant of remarkable powers, a letter 
begging me not to go out that evening, as she had received 
a warning of impending danger, but to this I paid no atten- 
tion. I never discovered the perpetrator, nor the cause of my 
life being attacked. Many reasons were assigned, amongst 
them robbery, mistaken identity, and religious intolerance. 

In the month of January, Signer Landucci, then Minister 
of the Interior to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, sent to me to 
request that I would not walk about the house at night be- 
tween the lights and the window, or go out in the streets in the 
day time, giving as a reason that some of my enemies had been 
playing upon the superstitions of the peasantry, and telling 
them that it was my practice to administer the seven sacra- 
ments of the Catholic church to toads, in order by spells and 
incantations to raise the dead. This had so enraged and 
excited them that they were fully bent on taking my life, 
and for that purpose were concealed about the neighbour- 
hood with fire arms. 

I met at this time a Polish nobleman, who with his family 
was about to visit Naples and Eome, and who most kindly 
pressed me to accompany them. I was left in Florence with- 
out money, and my friends in England having their cre- 
dulity imposed upon by some scandalmongers, and thinking 
me to be leading a most dissolute life, refused to send me 
even money of my own which had been entrusted to their 

care. I told the Count B that I would travel with him, 

and the very day I gave this assent, the spirits told me that my 
power would leave me for a year. This was on the evening of 
the 10th of February, 1866. Feeling that the Count and his 
family must have felt an interest in me, arising only from 



/ 



94 AT FLOBENCE, NAPLES, 

the singular phenomena 'which they had witnessed in my 
presence, and that this cause being removed, their interest 
in me would have diminished, I wrote the following morning 
to inform them of what I was told, and to say that I could 
no longer entertain the idea of joining them. They at once 
told me that it was for myself, even more than for the strange 
gift I possessed, that they had become interested in me. I went 
to them, and in a day or two we left Florence for Naples. 
While here, although my powers had left me, still my presence 
seemed to develope the power in others ; for I met, at his own 
residence, the Hon. Robert Dale Owen, who was the American 
Minister to the Court of Naples, and it was in the presence 
of one of the Eoyal Princes of that family, himself a 
medium, that he was first convinced. Mr. Owen has since 
written a most able and carefully arranged book of authentic 
facts, entitled, " Footfalls on the Boundaries of another 
World," in which he has brought together both the facts 
and the philosophy of this great subject. We remained in 
Naples nearly six weeks, and then proceeded to Eome. 
Here in the absence of the power, my mind sought in the 
natural world for that consolation which it had hitherto 
found in the spiritual, and now this being withdrawn, life 
seemed to me a blank. I read with intense eagerness all 
the books I could find relating to the doctrines of the 
Eomish church, and finding them expressive of so many 
facts which I had found coincident in my own experience, I 
thought that aU contending and contradictory beliefs would 
be for ever set at rest, could I but be received as a member of 
that body. My experiences of life and its falsity had already 
left so indelible a mark on my soul, from my recent experiences 
of it at Florence, that I wished to shun every thing which 
pertained to this world, and I determined to enter a mon- 
astery. 

After two or three weeks of serious deliberations on the part 
of the authorities, it was decided that I should be received as a 
member of the church, and I was confirmed. The Princess 
O was my godmother, and the Count B my god- 
father on the occasion. I was most kindly received by the 



BOME, AND FA SIS. 



95 



Pope, who questioned me mucli regarding my past life- He 
pointed to a crucifix wliicli»stood near to us, and said, " My 
child, it is upon what is on that table that we place our 
faith." He also gave me a large silver medal, which it has 
since been my misfortune to lose. 

It has since been frequently said of me that at this interview 
with the Pope, I had promised him that I would not have 
any more manifestations ; but it is hardly necessary, after 
what I have narrated, to say that I could not have made 
any such promise, nor did he ask any such promise to be 
made. 

In June, 1856, I went to Paris, and as I had been ad- 
vised to do by the Pope, I sought the counsel of the Pere de 
Ravignan, one of the most learned and excellent men of the 
day. The purpose of my remaining in France was to acquire 
a facility in the language. During the winter I again fell 
ill, and Dr. Louis, one of the most celebrated physicians in 
France for consumptive cases, decided on auscultation that 
my left lung was diseased, and advised a more genial 
climate. This could not, however, be accomplished, and 
for some time I was confined to my bed. The time was 
fast drawing nigh when the year would expire, during which 
my power was to be suspended. The Pere de Eavignan 
always assured me that as I was now a member of the 
Catholic church it would not return to me. For myself I 
had no opinion on the subject, as I was quite without data 
except his assurance on the point. 

On the night of the 10th of February, 1857, as the clock 
struck twelve, I was in bed, to which I had been confined, when 
there came loud rappings in my room, a hand was placed 
gently upon my brow, and a voice said, " Be of good cheer, 
Daniel, you will soon be well." Biit a few miDutes had 
elapsed before I sank into a quiet sleep, and I awakened in 
the morning feeling more refreshed than I had done for a 
long time. I wrote to the Pere de Eavignan, telling him 
what had occurred, and the same afternoon he came to see me. 
During the conversation loud rappings were heard on the 
ceiling and on the floor, and as he was about to give me his 



/- 



96 AT FLOBENCE, NAPLES, 

benediction before leaving, loud raps came on the bedstead. 
He left me without expressing any opinion whatever on 
the subject of the phenomena. 

The following day I had sufficiently recovered to take 
a drive, and on Friday the 13th, I was presented to their 
Majesties at the Tuileries, where manifestations of an 
extraordinary nature occurred. The following morning, I 
called on the P^re de Eavignan to inform him of this. He ex- 
pressed great dissatisfaction at my being the subject of such 
visitations, and said that he would not give me absolution 
unless I should at once return to my room, shut myself up 
there, and not listen to any rappings, or pay the slightest 
attention to whatever phenojnena might occur iu my presence. 
I wished to reason with him, and to explain that I could 
not prevent myself from hearing and seeing, for that Q-od 
having blessed me with the two facxQties, it was not in my 
power to ignore them. As for shutting myself up, I did 
not think, from my having before tried the experiment, that 
it was consistent with my nervous temperament, and that 
the strain on my system would be too great if I were thus 
isolated. He would not listen to me, and told me I had 
no right to reason, " Do as I bid you, otherwise bear the 
consequences." I left him in great distress of mind. I 
wished not to be disobedient, and yet I felt that God is 
greater than man, and that Be having bestowed the power 
of reason on me, I could not see why I should be thus de- 
prived of it. On reaching my room, I found there a very 

dear and valued friend, the Count de K . He observed 

my agitation, and questioned me as to the cause. I told 
him all, and he said, " There is but one thing to do, come 

home with me, and we will send for the Abb^ de C , and 

consult him." The Abb^ came, and after hearing my story, 
he said, " That they might as well put me in my grave alive, 
as to carry out what had been ordered," adding, " I would 
like very much to witness some of these wonderful things." 
Most fortunately my emotion had not destroyed the power, 
as is usually the case when I am agitated, for whUe we 
were together several interesting phenomena occurred. His 



BOME, AND FABI8. 97 

words were, " Let this power be what it will, it is in no 
way of your making." He recommended me to seek another 
spiritual adviser, and added, " I myself would gladly be 
your adviser, but as it would be known, I should only be 
persecuted." He gave me the name of one of the most elo- 
quent preachers of the day, and I introduced myself to him, 
and remained under his guidance during the few weeks of 
my stay in Paris previous to my going to America to bring 
back my sister. During my absence, the curiosity had be- 
come very great to find out who was my confessor, and the 

Countess L , having heard that he was a distinguished 

man, called upon several of the most noted in Paris, and after 
a short conversation, she abruptly said to each, " So you are . 
Mr. Home's confessor." Most naturally on one such occa- 
sion, she chanced to find the right one, and his look of sur- 
prise betrayed him. His surprise was that I should have 
revealed his name, and this he expressed to the Countess, 
who told him that I had not betrayed him, but that she 
had used that artifice to ascertain the fact. This was the 
cause of my not continuing with him longer as my confessor. 
The extract I here give is one from the recently published 
life of the great confessor, the Pire de Eavignan, who had been 
recommended to me by the Pope, and I can only regret he is no 
longer here to contradict, with his own pen, the felse statements 
concerning me, made by his biographer, the Jesuit Father A. 
de Ponlevoy. At the termination of Chapter XXIV, this per- 
son says, " We could not close this chapter without making 
mention of that famous American medium, who had the 
sad talent of turning other things than the tables, and 
invoking the dead to amuse the living. A great deal has 
been said, even in the papers, of his acquaintance, reli- 
giously and intimately, with Father de Eavignan, and they 
have seemed to wish, under the passport of a creditable 
name, to introduce and establish in France these fine dis- 
coveries of the New World. Here is the fact in all its sim- 
plicity. It is very true, that the young foreigner, after his 
conversion in Italy, was recommended from Bome to the 
Father de Bavignan, but at that period, in abjuring Protes- 



98 AT FLOBENCE, NAPLES, 

tantism, he also repudiated magicy and he was received with 
that interest that a priest owes to every soul ransomed by 
the blood of Jesus Christ, and more, perhaps, to a soid 
which has been converted, and brought to the bosom of the 
church. On his arrival in Paris, all his old practices were 
again absolutely forbidden. The Father de Eavignan, ac- 
cording to all the principles of the aith, which forbids su- 
perstition, forbade under the most severe penalties he could 
inflict, that he should be an actor in, or even witness of 
these dangerous scenes, which are sometimes criminal. One 
day the unhappy medium, tempted by I know not what, 
man or demon, violated his promise ; he was retaken with 
a rigour which overwhelmed him. Coming in then by chance 
I saw him rolling on the ground, and drawing himself like 
a worm to the feet of the priest who was in saintly anger. 
The Father, however, touched by his convulsive repentance, 
lifted him up, forgave him, and sent him away, after having 
exacted, by writing this time, a promise under oath. But 
soon there was backsliding which made much noise (rechute 
eclatcmte), and the servant of God, breaking off with this 
slave of the spirits, had him told never again to appear in 
his presence." 

If the rest of the book be no more tfuthful than this state- 
ment, it is certainly not worth reading. The good Father de 
Bavignan well knew that I was not an American, and that this 
power had began with me before I ever saw America, for 1 had 
told him all my history. He also knew that I never invoked 
the spirits. No good name is, or ever will be, required to 
introduce, or accredit a God-given truth, and I knew far 
too well the power of facts to think that they required the 
passport of even Father Eavignan's name. His biographer 
must have had a limited education too, both religious and 
historical, to write of these things as being the " fine disco- 
veries" of the New World, for they are to be readily traced 
in every age and country of the world of which we have any 
record or history preserved to us. It is perfectly untrue 
that I ever abjured any magical, or other processes, for I never 
knew anything of such, and therefore I could not abjure them. 



BOMX:, AND PASIS. 



99 



The Father de Eayignan used to say to me, when I told 
him that the spirits had said they woidd return to me on 
the 10th of February, 1857, " There is no fear of that, my 
child, so long as you go on as you are now doing, observing 
carefully aU the sacraments of our holy church ; they will 
not be allowed to return.". I followed out his injunctions 
most conscientiously ; but on the very day promised, they 
came as I have described, and told me they were glad to 
fmd me in so pure a state of mind, as it greatly facilitated 
their approach. I never yet violated any promise to my 
knowledge, and as to the biographer coming in and fmding 
me rolling on the ground, and crawling like a worm, it is 
an entire falsehood. But had it even been true, it would 
not have been the place of a priest to make such a thing 
public. If I took an oath, and wrote it down as alleged, 
that writing will have been kept. Let it be forthcoming 
to save the character of this Father A. de Ponlevoy, that he 
may prove the truth of the statement he makes. In the 
meantime, I say that it is without even any foundation of 
truth. The last time I saw the good Father de Eavignan, 
I would only reason with him, for as I then said to him, no 
man had a right to forbid that which God gave. I left him 
without confessing e^n, so I had not been on my knees at 
all, much less crawling like a worm. 

As I have said, when the Abb^ C came to see me, 

the conversation I had with him only tended to strengthen me 
in my opinion of what was right, for when priests are not 
agreed as touching such a matter, whom or what are we to 
rely on, if not on the reason God has given us. The Father 
de Bavignan never had me informed that he would not see 
me again. On the contrary, it was I who said I would not 
go to him tUl he would reason with me. I have letters of 
his to me in my possession, which wiU shew the kind feeling 
he ever had for me previous to this period, and I am well 
assured in my own mind, that he never said aught against 
me, even when I no longer saw him. He was so good, so 
pure, and so high minded, that I would that he had had 
a more truthful and honest chronicler to write his life* 

H 2 



100 AT FLOSEITCE, NAPLES, 

The Countess L was herself a firm believer in the mani- 
festations which she had frequently witnessed in my presence, 
and she was also present when I had a vision which is de- 
scribed in one of the Paris papers in the following words : 

" The recent failure of Mr. Thumeyssen recalls to us a 
strange fact that signalized the sojourn of Mr. Home in 

Paris during the last winter. The Countess had a 

dozen years ago a strange hallucination. One evening being 
busy with some embroidery, alone with her brother, he 
was reading to her one of the most irreligious books of the 
eighteenth century. As she listened mechanically to his 
reading, she raised her head, and looking at her brother she 
was struck with terror at the sight of the strange expression 
of his face. He was ordinarily a most gentle, benevolent, and 
sympathetic young man, with cahn, quiet features, but at 
that moment they were firightfally contracted, the eye-brows 
singularly convulsed, the eyes wide open, the comers of the 
mouth distorted by a bitter and despairing smile, and 
altogether he had the peculiar expression which painters 
would give to a fallen angel. The frightened Countess had 
immediately, as it were a thought revealed to her, (for she 
never previously dreamed of the possibility of such a thing), 
she was convinced that her brother was possessed by a demon. 
Frequently afterwards she saw the same infernal expression 
on the face of her brother, even when he was most cabn and 
happy ; but the idea was so horrible to her that she never 
mentioned the circumstance. Last winter Mr. Home was intro- 
duced to the Countess. Being at her house one evening, and 
in his usual quiet frame of mind, his attention was drawn to 
a beautiftd marble bust. He was not aware of its being that 
of the brother of the Countess, but immediately his whole 
visage changed, and he became in a state of most violent agi- 
tation. The Countess much alarmed inquired why he was so 
affected, when Mr. Home replied, ' Madame, the man whose 
bust this is, is possessed with a demon.' O^e may judge of 
the astonishment of the Countess on hearing Mr. Home say 
what she had thought twelve years before. She pressed him 
with questions, and he, recovering from his emotion, rose and 



BOMB, AND PABI8. 101 

went to examine the bust more closely, then turning to the 
Countess he said, * In a short time your brother will have a 
great misfortune, and this misfortune will deliver him from 
his enemies.' 

" And so it has oocurred, the Count de P has lost in 

the bankruptcy of M. Thumeyssen a considerable part of his 
fortune. The prophecy came four months previous to the 
failure. Could it have been that the spirits saw the dis- 
honesty of Thumeyssen? if so this might account why 
certain persons are so ready to oppose all communication 
with the other world, preferring the darkness to the light." 

The day previous to my leaving Paris, a wonderful case 
of healing occurred through me in the manner which I will 
now relate. 

On the 19th of March, 1857, when I was residing at 13, 
Bue des Champs Elysees, I received a letter from a stranger 
to me, Madame A. Mavoisin de Cardonne, of 233, Eue St. 
Dominique, St. Germain, stating that she had had a dream, 
in which she had seen her own mother and mine, and that 
the latter had told her to seek me at once, in order that her 
son, who had been deaf for four years from the effects of 
typhoid fever, might be cured. This was so strongly im- 
pressed upon her mind, that she wrote to me to say that she 
would call upon me with her son, the following morning at 
ten. 

Accordingly the next morning she presented herself with 
her son at my rooms, there being present the Princess de 

B and Miss E , who were with me, previous to my 

leaving Paris that very day, to proceed on my voyage to 
America. I had been so overwhelmed by persons wishing 
to see me that I had uniformly refused such visits ; but on 
this occasion I had been so much pre-occupied by my en- 
gagements in preparing for my voyage, that I had not been 
able to acknowledge her letter, or to write to her either in the 
affirmative or negative. I therefore received her with con- 
siderable embarrassment, which was fully reciprocated on 
her part. It was indeed an embarrassing meeting for both 
of us, the mother yearning for her son's recovery, and I, not 



102 AT FLORENCE, NAPLES, SOME, AND PARIS. 

knowing how I was expected to be instrumental in healing 
this long total deafness ; the more so that operations had 
been performed on the boy, as I afterwards found, by eminent 
surgeons of Paris, who had said that it was impossible he 
should ever be restored to hearing. 

She sat down on a chair near a sofa, I taking a seat on the 
so^ and beckoning the son to be seated on my left. The 
son was in his fifteenth year, tall for his age, of a delicate 
complexion, with large dreamy blue eyes that looked as if 
they would supply the place of hearing, with their deep, 
thoughtful, enquiring gaze. The mother began her de- 
scription of the boy's illness, commencing with the attack of 
the fever, and ending in the entire loss of hearing. During 
the recital, told with all the warmth and tenderness of a 
mother's heart, and describing the various surgical opera- 
tions to which he had been subjected, my sympathies were 
deeply moved, and I had unwittingly tbiown my left arm 
about the boy and drawn him towards me, so that the boy's 
head rested upon my shoulder. Whilst in this position, and 
Madame de Cardonne was telling some of the most painful 
particulars, I passed my hand caressingly over the boy's head, 
upon which he, partly lifting his head, suddenly exclaimed 
in a voice trembling with emotion, " Mamcm, je fentends /" 
(Mamma, I hear you !) The mother fixed on him a look of 
astonishment, and said, " Emile," the boy's name, and he 
at once replied, " Quoi f' (What ?) She then, seeing that 
the child had heard her question, fainted with emotion, and 
on her recovery the scene was a most thrilling one — ^the 
poor mother asking continually questions for the mere plea- 
sure of hearing her child reply. The boy was able to resume 
his studies, and has continued to hear perfectly up to the 
present time. 



103 



CHAPTEE VI. 

IN AMEBICA. THE PBESSQANa. 

On reaching America, I found that the American press 
had been publishing some ridiculous paragraphs about me, 
one of which was of a practical joke said to have been per- 
petrated by General Baraguay d'Hilliers and others in the pre- 
sence of the Emperor, and that I myself had become greatly 
alarmed, and finally very angry on discovering the trick. 
The whole was a fabrication, as will be seen, for at that time 
I had never even seen either of the three gentlemen who 
were said to be actors in it. The following paragraph was, 
also, of the same character, as I had not then met M. Dumas. 

" Home, the table-turner and magnetiser, who has of late 
caused such attention in Paris, has predicted to M. Alexan- 
dre Dumas that he would live to the age of 113 years, and 
be killed in a duel." 

The following is another specimen of a similar kind. 

" Mr. Home, the medium who has made such a sensation 
in Paris, is on his way to this cotmtry, to visit his sister. 
He has been offered marriage by a lady of immense wealth, 
but has refused her." 

The " New York Herald," a paper better known for its un- 
truthfulness than otherwise, published letters from its spe- 
cial correspondents at Paris, stating '' from the most re- 
liable sources," that I had stolen «e30,000, and was now 
for ever banished from France. I had at that very moment 
my return ticket in my pocket, and knew that an Imperial 
Prince, then on a visit to the Emperor was awaiting my 
return. Indeed, if the public judged of my life from what 



104. 



IN AMESICA. 



the newspapers said of me, they must have been greatly 
puzzled by the statements and contradictions which succes- 
sively appeared. I was quite content to leave both without 
notice, and I have never been at the pains to set them right. 
The following notice is of the same class as the preceding. 

" The * Ind^pendance Beige' states that Napoleon sent 
away Mr. Eome^ the American spirit-rapper, because the 
Empress was so much afiPected that the Emperor dreaded 
the continuance of the diabolical scenes. The ladies of 
honour were equally excited and could talk of nothing else. 
It is said that Home was quartered in the royal household, 
and was paid at the rate of «£40,000 pounds per year." 

The " Hartford Courant," states : 

tt rjr^Q t rf ii^es' says that Daniel Dunglas Home, the fa- 
mous medium, whose performances are so peculiar as to 
utterly baffle the most acute and sagacious minds, and who 
is a gentleman of education and character quite out of the 
range of the common mediums, was in this city last Saturday. 
We regard him as the most remarkable man living ; and no 
man who has not witnessed what is done in Home's presence, 
can claim a right to give an opinion on Spiritualism. Mr. Home 
says the jokes of the newspaper correspondents about him 
are entirely untrue. He had some sittings at the Tuileries, 
but declined conversation on that subject." 

Another paper, "The Springfield Eepublican," noticed 
my presence in America as follows : 

" Home, the distinguished spiritual medium, who has 
recently been raising spirits in the presence of the Emperor 
Napoleon, is in Springfield on a brief visit. He will return 
to Prance shortly, where his services are in great request 
among the savans." 

A New York paper gave the following account, correcting 
some of the mistatements about me : 

" What terrible gossippers some of our letter writers are. 
The New York Editor of the * London Letter,' in the last ' Sun- 
day Times/ has the following paragraph : ' It is whispered, 
in Paris, that Home, the American spirit-rapper, was pro- 
ducing so much mischief in the Court that he was ordered 



THE PKESSQANO. 105 

off by the aJarmed Emperor ; and the fellow who, though 
playing the part of a personage with ,£40,000 a year, was 
really penniless, has left for the country of the rappers.' 

" Possibly it may interest some of our readers to know 
something of Mr. Home, who has lately afforded a prolific 
subject to paragraph makers. We have nothing to say as 
to his ' spiritual' belongings here, but simply speak of the 
lad — ^for he is scarcely more, being but twenty-two years old 
now — in reference to such reports as the above. Home, the 

* American,' is of an old Scottish family of standing, and 
was born in Scotland, but brought very young to this coun- 
try. Quiet and unobtrusive in his manners, he never has 
thrust himself forward, nor specially sought nor avoided the 
notoriety which attends him ; never has exhibited himself as 
a public medivm, as many suppose, but has simply suffered 
events to take their course with him. 

" As to the above story of his quitting Paris, which has 
gone the rounds, in various shapes, we have only to say, 
that some two Sundays since, while reading from the Eng- 
lish papers an account of his doings in Paris, and supposing 
him snugly ensconced in the Tuileries, the door opened, and 
to our astonishment, in walked Mr. Home, to take dinner ' at 
home* — it being under our own roof that, some six years 
since, at the age of sixteen, he found his first shelter in 
New York (Brooklyn), a temporary refuge from horror- 
stricken relatives, who had turned the * rapper' adrift as 
being * possessed of a devil ;' thus starting him as a young 
martyr at least, whether deservedly so or not. 

" He told us of his arriving a day or two before, at Phila- 
delphia, and stated what he had come for, and when he 
was going back. He has accomplished his errand — part of 
which was to obtain his sister, with whom he sailed from 
Boston, a few days since, on his return to Paris. 

• " So much for the * mischief and the * alarmed Emperor,' 
who * ordered him off,' a story made of the same bit of 
cloth as the Socrates joke by Baraguay d'Hilliers and 
others." . 

Whilst on the subject of these newspaper inventions, I 



106 IN AMERICA. 

may as well allude to a curious series of tliem wbicH oc- 
curred in 1868. I had then left Paris for Rome, on account 
of my healthy and on the 13th of March, the following tele- 
graphic dispatch reached me there from a friend in Paris, 
" Tell me immediately if you are still at Eome. I have a 
request to make." I replied that I was still at Eome, and 
in course of post I received a letter of the 14th March, as 
follows : 

" Dear Friend. — I sent you yesterday a telegraphic dis- 
patch that you might write to me at once if you were at 
Eome. 1 niade pretext of having a commission to ask you 
to do ; but it was in reality only to have a letter from you 
as soon as possible. Scandal says you have been arrested, 
and the Hague papers say that you are in prison at Mazas. 

Monsieur B , whose son is a medium, has sent to know 

the truth, and I have authorized him to publish that I have 
a letter from you, bearing date of Eome the 7th of March. 
I have also sent to inform ' La Patrie,' that a stop may be 
put to these base calumnies. I trust you will approve of 
what I have done." 

The Parisian papers took up the report, and it was con- 
firmed by them that I was truly in prison at Mazas. Persons 
even in official positions told my friends that they had seen 
amd spoken to me in that prison, and one, an officer, went so 
far as to state that he had accompanied me there in the 
carriage. 

Being at Eome, and altogether unaware of all this scandal 
which was passing about me, I had felt forcibly impressed, 
I knew not why, to write to M. Henri Delage, the well 
known mystic writer of Paris. I did so, and it will be ob- 
served by the following paragraph introducing my letter, 
how very opportunely my impression had been given, and 
how well I had acted in following it out. 

Paris correspondent of " Le Nord." 

"Paris, 17thMafoh. 
** Allow me to begin by a good action ; it is to free an 



THE PBESSOAITG. 



107 



honourable man from calunmieSy arising from what source I 
know not, but which for the past few days have been rapidly 
spreading. I speak of Mr. Home, who is, for the moment, in 
Italy, whereas it is whispered both secretly and openly that 
he is in the prison of Mazas, for we know not what crimes. 
The letter here given, dated Eome, 7th of March, was 
received yesterday by M. Henri Delage, an intimate friend 
of Mr. Home. The letter is there before me with the postal 
mark, and I will give you his literal words : 

<<< Borne, March 7tih, 1858. 

" * Dear M. Delage, — ^Tou were without doubt much sur- 
prised to hear of my departure for Italy ; but the truth is I 
was very iU. I had an impoverishment of the blood, so what 
could I do. My power had quite left me. The dear spirits 
thought me too iU to see strangers. Here in Bome I go 
but little into society, a complete rest being necessary. 
Write to me soon, and will you kindly remember me to 

M. H , you know I like him very much. 

" * Tours faithfully, 

" * D. D. HoMB.* 

" I beg of you to give the publicity of your well known 
journal to this letter of Mr. Home. It being the best reply 
which can be given to those base calunmies which attack his 
honour." 

I well know the origin and cause, of this intrigue and 
I have in my possession a friendly letter, bearing date the 
18th July, 1858, from the Bureau du Ministre de I'lnt^rieur, 
which is a sufficient refutation of the wicked calumny. His 
Highness the Prince Murat also made it the occasion of 
proving to me not only the Chistian principles which actuated 
him, but also the true nobleness of his heart, in doing for a 
comparative stranger, that which a farther aJone could be 
expected to do for a son. He, at his own expense, sent per- 
sons to Germany, to Italy, and to England, to ascertain the 
foundation : of such a libel, and generously gave me his 
public and private testimony to its entire untruth. 



108 TS AKEBICA. 

I haye now to present the following letter, and the en- 
closed programme, which I also received while at Bome, and 
which disclose a case of personation, which is by no means 
eifcher the first or the last of that kind which I conld give. 
It is, however, an amusing specimen of them. 

«*PiuriB, April Tih. 

" Dear friend, — I send yon a programme taken from one 
of the Lyons papers, that was sent to M. Allen Kardee. 
What a shame to think such an imposition should be allowed 
in your name. I would advise you to write at once to the 
Prefect of Lyons, or to the police, that the villain should be 
unmasked as soon as possible, not only for the wrong he 
does to your name, but also to the cause of spiritualism. 
Do not aUow a moment to pass, and we on our side will do 
all we can. Only think of the audacity in daring to say 
that he had been received by the Emperor. 

" I am, &c., &c. 

" P.S. — I have this moment heard that the imposture was 
at once discovered, and he has fled from Lyons." 

I give the original programme, with an English transla- 
tion. 

** Salle du Grand Theatre. Jeudi, AvrU 1, 1868, a Jmit 
hev/res, Soiree Americaine ou Sea/nee de SpirUiwliame de 
M. Home. 

y*Je ne me guide jamaiB d'api^s la science, mais d'apr^s ma con- 
science ; je crois done fortement aux faits magnetiques, ^'e croifi que la force 
magn^tique augmente prodigieusement la force de Tuion de rhomme ; 
je croiB que ces faits sent constates par un certain nombre d'hommes tr^s- 
sino^res et tr^s-cbr^tiens.' — l'abbe licobdaibe. 

" Programme : Experience de vision par M. Home et T Ange 
miraculeux. — Ob^issance k Tordre du public. — Stance de spi- 
ritualisme par la sensitive Mme. de Cabanyes. 

" Production des visions demand^es par les spectateurs : 
Fr^missement, Joie, Colore, Idiotisme, Pi^t^, Multiplication 
des sens. Augmentation et diminution des forces. 



THE FBESSGANG. 109 

^' Eeproduction de plusieurs de ces pb^nom^nes sur des 
jeunes gens que le public est pri^ de pr&enter. 

" M. Home, qui a eu rbonneur de faire ses experiences 
devant Sa Majesty Tempereur, invite MM. les m^decins, 
docteurs, cbirurgiens, etc., etc., a monter prfes de lui sur la 
Bcfene, flfin de contr61er la v^racit^ des pb^nomfenes curieux 
qu'il a rbonneur d'offirir au Public. Des sieges seront dis- 
poses k cet effet. 

" Prix des places : Premieres loges, fauteuils et stalles, 6 fr. 
(sans augmentation pour la location k Tavance) ; — premieres 
galeries, 5 fr. ; — secondes, 3 fr. ; — parterre, 2 fr. 50 c. ; — 
troisifemes, 1 fr. 60 c. ; — quatrifemes, 1 fr." 

" At the Great Theai/re, Thursday^ \8t of Aprils 1858, com- 
mencing at eight o* clock, America/n Soiree or Seance of 
Sjpiritualism, by Mr. Home. 

•* * I never allow myself to be guided by science, but by my conscience. 
I therefore believe furmly in the facts of magnetism. I believe that the 
magnetic force augments prodigiously the power of man's vision. I believe 
that these facts are certified by a certain number of men very sincere and 
very christian.' — the abbe lacobdaibe. 

" Programme : Tbe vision experience of Mr. Home, and 
tbe miraculous angel. — Obedience to tbe order of tbe public. 
— Spiritual seance by tbe sensitive Mme. de Cabanyes. 

" Production of visions asked for by tbe spectators : 
Tremblings, Joy, Anger, Idiotcy, Eeligion, Piety, Multipli- 
cation of tbe senses. Augmentation and diminution of 
strengtb. 

" Eeproduction of several of tbose pbenomena on young 
persons, wbom tbe public are requested to introduce. 

" Mr. Home, wbo bas bad tbe bonour to go tbrougb bis 
experiences before His Majesty, tbe Emperor, invites tbe 
Doctors of Pbilosopby and otbers, also Surgeons, &c., &c. 
to sit near bim on tbe stage to satisfy tbemselves as to tbe 
trutb of tbe curious pbenomena wbicb be bas tbe bonour to 
present to tbe public. Gbairs will be arranged for tbat 
purpose. 

" Price of places : First boxes, £a.uteuils and stalls, 6 frs, 
(no extra cbarge for booking) ; first gaUery, 5 frs. ; second, 



110 IN AMESICA. 

3 frs. ; pit, 2 frs. 50 c. : third places, 1 fr. 50 c. ; fourth, 
1 fr." 

This was contradicted by the Paris papers, which gave 
only as a reason that I was in Turin, whilst at the time it 
happened that I was really at Naples. 

But it would be wrong to confine these fialsehoods to the 
press of America or France, when the English press vied 
with them in fabricating and dispensing equally false state- 
ments about me. The Socrates story was from the forge of 
the " Court Journal" and was disseminated through a great 
part of the English press. No wonder that with such teach- 
ing there should be misconception about me, and about the 
phenomena. I can only say that the whole of the following 
statements, names, dates, circumstances and persons are 
false from beginning to end. 

Extraordinary Spirit Affair in Paris, Singular cmd Successful 
Hoax on the Spiritualists, 

" Mr. Hume, the all-hearing, all-seeing spirit-rapper, is 
gone suddenly, without warning. Many stories are afloat 
respecting the cause of this abrupt departure amid such 
striking success, when Paris was just filled with his renown, 
and even from the pulpit had threats and warnings been 
launched forth against those who dared to frequent his 
company, or believe in his incantations. Some newspapers 
have declared that he is gone to America in search of his 
sister, whom he pronounces a more powerful medium than 
himself; others that, in consequence of some of his tricks 
having assumed the character of towrs de passe-jpasse, he had 
been forbidden to practise his deceptive arts upon the high 
personages whom he had chosen, on pain of proces-verhal : 
and that the metamorphosis of the Princess Mathilde's 
pocket-handkerchief into a living scarabeus — after which 
exploit the practitioner had fallen into catalepsy, and re- 
mained senseless for five hours — had awakened certain 
scruples and suspicions in the minds of those who had wit- 
nessed the feat, which had caused his exclusion from that 



THE PBESSaAKG. Ill 

circle of society. Nothing of all this is the case, and your 
readers may be assured of the truth of what we are about to 
relate, and of the adventure being the whole and sole cause 
of the abrupt departure of the discomfited wizard. 

'^ A few nights ago a grand stance had been prepared for 
him at the house of one of the principal officials about the 
Court, who had witnessed the divers experiments made at 
the Tuileries, and which, although failing to convince him 
entirely, had yet not left him wholly incredulous. The 
company was limited, and of the first water. The names 
had all been submitted to the practitioner — ^those of Eugene 
Ouinot, the feuUletoniste : General Baraguay d'HiUiers ; and 
Nadaud, the composer ; all of them atrocious unbelievers, 
wretched infidels, and scoffers, wholly devoid of all sensi- 
bility or imagination. Numerous were the experiments 
tried, and all, as usual, eminently successful. The accordion 
glided, as usual, from knee to knee, all round the circle, 
and played the tunes most loved by the inquirers ; the bell 
wandered round the ceiling, and rang its merry peal or 
tolled its doleful note, according to the will of any member 
of the company who chose to conmiand it. But the wizard 
had promised that night to evoke the spirits and render them 
visible to the sight, and every preliminary experiment was 
attended to with impatience, so great was ifche hurry to wit- 
ness the crowning masterpiece of the performance. At 
length the lights were all extinguished but one, a solitary 
wax taper on the mantel-piece, behind the figure of the 
practitioner, which cast its long, gigantic shadow on the 
walls and ceiling of the room. The silence was complete ; 
some of the ladies crouched behind their neighbours, and 
resisted the temptation to faint only by reason of their cu- 
riosity; others stared around, hoping, yet dreading, to see 
something awful and terrific, that they would be driven to 
hysterics. The voice of the wizard was heard, amid the 
sUence, demanding whose spirit should be summond to ap- 
pear. A faint whisper, from a distant comer, thrilled 
through the room — " Let it be Socrates, the greatest of 
philosophers !" A p^iuse ensued — ^no objection or opposition 



112 IN AMEBICA. 

being manifested, the wizard raised his arm, and waying it 
towards the door, solemnly bade the spirit of Socrates ap- 
pear and stand before him. Again the silence was resumed, 
and the wizard remained, with extended arm and muttering 
lips, gazing towards the door. It slowly opened ; and, amid 
the utmost terror, the company beheld the entrance of a 
figure, enveloped in a kind of floating drapery, soihething 
like a winding-sheet, which advanced with noiseless tread 
over the carpet, and stood before the conjuror. The white 
and flowing beard^ the bald head and crushed nose were un- 
mistakable — Socrates stood, as in life, in the very midst of 
that gay and frivolous circle, evoked from his slumber of 
centuries to furnish sport for a Parisian saUrn ! The awe and 
terror of the company was at its highest, and the figure 
glided back in silence while yet the effect produced was at 
its culminating point. When it had disappeared, compli- 
ments, of course, poured in upon the operator, who, shaken 
to the very fingers' ends, could not help expressing his sur- 
prise at the unusual promptitude with which the summons 
had been answered, and, fall of the excitement of unlocked 
for success, yielded to the entreaties of the same voice which 
had spoken before, and which now implored the evocation 
of Frederick the Great. The wizard again stretched forth 
his hand towards the door, although doubtful if his electric 
current would be strong enough to accomplish two evoca- 
tions so rapidly one after the other. He was observed, how- 
ever, even in the dim light of the apartment, to turn deadly 
pale as the door again opened at his summons, when he 
called aloud for Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, to 
appear before him. The moment's pause was truly awfdl. 
By degrees, amid the shadows of the room could be seen 
gliding through the door-way, a short figure, wrapped, like 
the one which had preceded it, in a kind of winding-sheet 
clinging to its limbs, and held around the waist by the grasp 
of the hands. The face, however, was undeniably that of 
the great hero, and the head surmounted by the little tra- 
ditional cocked hat which makes every Prussian heart beat 
with gratitude and loyalty even to this day. The figure 



THE FBESSGANG. 113 

advanced as tliat of Socrates liad done before, close up to 
the magician, and there stood still and motionless within a 
few paces of the chimney. Presently, the excitement of the 
magician became intense, the perspiration rolled in huge 
drops from his forehead, and the teeth chattered. " Enough, 
enough — begone, depart !" said he, in a hoarse whisper, as 
the eyes of the figure glared upon him with a fierce and me- 
nacing expression. " Begone I say !" repeated he, in a 
hollow tone, as the figure still stood motionless in spite of 
the command. In another moment, however, the spell was 
broken. Rousing himself by an effort which, considering 
the circumstances in which he was placed, may be regarded 
as sublime, he suddenly exclaimed, " I have been made the- 
dupe of some mystification," and stepped close to the figure, 
which had still retained its menacing attitude until that 
moment, when a loud and uncontrollable laugh burst from 
its lips, and it exclaimed : " What ! don't you know me ? 
I am Nadaud, and here is my friend, Socrates, otherwise 
Marshal Baraguay d'Hilliers, ready to- appear again when- 
ever you choose, and close at hand is my comrade, Eugene 
G-uinot in life, and Alcibiades in death, waiting to be sum- 
moned after me, as he would most assuredly have been, had 
I been able to follow up the joke." You can just imagine 
ijie effect produced by the discovery of the mystification. Mr. 
Home was struck powerless and dumb ; when he recovered, 
he begged it to be remembered that he had been the first 
to find out the deception, and asserted that the spirit sum- 
moned would have appeared, for that he does possess the 
facility of raising th^m. In a few moments, however, he 
disappeared, and the next day we heard, without astonish- 
ment, of his sudden departure from Paris. It seems that 
the three mauvais plaisans who had been excluded from the 
company had been determined to revenge themselves ; and, 
with the assistance of a confrere, aided likewise by the false 
white beard of Socrates and the cocked hat of Frederick the 
Great, had almost succeeded in duping the operator, had it 
not been for the uncontrollable laughter of Nadaud which 
betrayed the whole conspiracy. 



114 IN AMEBICA. THE PBESSOANG. 

" This is the story told of the sudden desertion of the 
camp by Mr. Home. Time will show us if it be truth, for 
he has promised to return ; and should we not behold him 
according to his promise in the space of three months, we 
shall know what to believe and what to doubt of his mys- 
sterious power." 

I could tell much more of a similar kind, but wha^t I have 
already given is sufficient to shew the reckless invention of 
those who assume to enlighten the public through the press. 
I found it the easiest to let them have their own way, for if 
I had begun to contradict all the falsehoods told about me, 
my time would have been fully occupied in vain attempts to 
stop a torrent which seems as if it would never cease to flow. 



115 



CHAPTEE YII. 

1857-3. — PRANCE, ITALY, AND RTTSBIA. — MAaBIAGB. 

I RETURNED from America to Paris in May, 1857, and I 
remained there till July, having seances every day. The 
power was very great at that time, and the phenomena were 
witnessed and investigated by many hundreds of all classes. 
The spirit hands were frequently visible, and wore seen by 
many to take pen or pencil and write in the autograph of 
the person whose spirit was represented to be present. 

One morning the concierge came to me saying, "Please, Sir, 
there is an old gentleman here, and I think you must see him, 
he seems so anxious and careworn." I must mention that I had 
been so overrun by visitors, that I had been obliged to refuse 
to see any strangers, as all my time was taken up by engage- 
ments with my friends. I acceded to his request, and he 

announced the Count de X . At the first moment of 

looking at him, I saw none of the signs of anxiety and care 
which had struck the concierge^ nor did he seem to me so 
very old. He advanced to where I stood, and taking me 
kindly by the hand, he said to me, " I have been sent to you, 
and you will yet know the reason why, though you do not 

even know who I am. I live at No. 4, Eue , and you 

will be obliged to come to me." I shook my head at this 
incredulously, and told him that my time was so taken up, 
that I had scarcely time even to call on my friends. He 
smiled, and said : " You will see, you will see." The con- 
versation then changed, and he left me after having written 
his address. I .was to dine that evening with the Baroness 

de M , and previous to leaving the house to go to her, I 

heard a spirit voice saying distinctly to me, " You will go to 

I 2 



116 FEANCE, ITALY, AND EUSSIA. 

see my father, won't you P" The voice did not seem as if it 
required an answer, for it was said so affirmatively, and I 

made no reply. On reaching the Hotel de M , and 

entering the drawing-room I saw a young man standing 
there. I was surprised at this, expecting to have met 
no stranger. With his eyes fixed upon me, he said, "I 
am glad you have come, for we will go together to see my 
father," and he then suddenly disappeared. I had thought 
till then that he was a guest, so real was the vision. 
The Baroness was in the room, and saw that I waS 
agitated, and asked me what had occurred, but I did 
not enter into any explanation. When about to take 
my seat at the dinner table, again I heard the same voice, 
saying, "You will go to my father, won't you?" This 
so unnerved me that I told the Baroness the cii*cum8tance, 
and she kindly advised my going. The evening passed on, 
and after two hours I had nearly forgotten the occurrence, 
and had returned to the drawing-room, when suddenly I 
saw by my side the same young man. His face now wore a 
paiifed expression, and I was horrified to see blood on his 
breast. He said to me, " My father is waiting for you ; he 
has had much sorrow ; it is your mission to console — ^go to 
him." I told him I would on the following day, but he re- 
plied that I must go then, that very night. He disappeared, 
and I told the Baroness of what he said, and she allowed me 

to leave. On reaching No. 4, Eue , I was directed to 

the rooms of the Count, and his valet told me that his 
master was preparing to retire, and in all probability could 
not see me. Again the voice told me to announce myself, 
and at that very moment a door was opened, and the Count 
came towards me, and said, " I have been waiting for you, I 
knew you would come." I described to him the young man 
I had seen, and all that had happened, and he at once re- 
cognised him as his son who had been murdered. He 
shewed me a portrait of him, which exactly corresponded 
with my visions of him, and I have sinc^ seen him often. 
He has told me, that on his appearance that first day, he 
showed the blood upon his breast, merely to impress me the 



FRANCE, ITALY, AND BUBBIA. 117 

more deeply witli the necessity of going to his father. His 
father told me that he had been himself for long a partial 
medium, and that he had been told to seek me for the 
purpose of having his mediumship increased, in order that 
his son might be able the more easily to impress him with 
his presence. It has since been a great comfort and relief 
to his mind to have the certainty of his son being with him 
to console him in his affliction. 

About this time my guardian spirits told me that it seemed 
necessary that I should go to Turkey, as a way was opening 
by which I might be the means of bringing light there. I 
accordingly made all preparations for the journey, and my 
power left me. I had received letters of introduction to 
persons holding high positions at Constantinople. My 
trunks were packed, my passport sent for vise. 1 was 

making a farewell call on the Ihichess de A , and 

while in conversation with her, the drawing-room seemed 
filled with rappings, the alphabet was called for, and I was 
told that my journey must be postponed, as some political 
troubles were just about to occur. Instead, therefore, of 
going to Turkey, I went to Baden-Baden. My power while 
there was not great, as my health was again failing, but I 
met the King of Wurtemburg, and the then Prince, now 
Eing of Prussia, both of whom investigated the pheno- 
mena. 

My guardian spirits continually told me at this time 
that there was trouble in store for me, but that from the 
darkness light would come, and that whatever might seem 
to be a loss, would in the end prove to be a gain, and in 
aU this they were correct. 

I left Baden-Baden sooner than I had expected, and went 
to Biarritz. Here I was told that the first darkening of the 
cloud would come, and that those who might have understood 
me better, would be led to think ill of me by those about 
them, who, to serve a purpose, would fabricate a statement, 
the very absurdity of which ought to have been its refuta- 
tion. The pre-knowledge of what was to occur to me, 
combined with nervous debility, made me more than usually 



118 FRANCE, ITALY, AND BTTSSIA. 

agitated, and wliilst at a stance, where almost the only 
manifestation was the taking of a bracelet from the lady 
sitting on my left, and the carrying of it to a lady 
opposite me, the gentleman on my right hand declared it to 
have been transported by my feet. If my legs were eight 
feet long it would have still been a miracle, but in such 
wonderful occurrences as these we mast not be surprised at 
any absurdity that may be invented, however painful it may 
be to be charged with dishonesty and imposture. 

Some instances of the manner in which it is said the pheno- 
mena are produced are sufficiently amusing to be repeated. A 
very popular idea in Paris was that I carried in my pocket a 
tame monkey trained to assist me. Another is that my legs 
are so formed as to be capable of elongation, and that my 
feet are like those of a baboon. Many people suppose that 
when I go to a strange house, my tables have to be sent 
first, and that, like Sir David Brewster's " conjectural" table, 
they are always copiously draped, and that I take with me 
wax hands and arms to show at the proper moment. 
Some suppose that I magnetize or biologize my audience, 
and that they only imagine they see what they see. 
Some that I carry with me lazy tongs and a magic lan- 
tern, and others have stated that when I am said to rise 
in the air, it is only a balloon filled with gas in the shape of 
a man. Others again will have it that is done by a magic 
lantern, whilst some doctors declare that I administer " a 
thimblefuU of chloroform to each of the sitters." Sir David 
Brewster must have had his thimblefuU when he could only 
say that the table " appeared to rise," and that " spirits 
were the last things he would give into." Some have 
enough spiritual belief to say that 1 have the devil at com- 
mand. Others that I raise spirits by forms and incantations. 
Then we have involuntary muscular motion to account for 
the phenomena by the learned Professor Faraday. Dr. 
Carpenter speaks of their being produced by unconscious 
cerebration, and Mr. Morell, the philosopher, tells us that 
they are caused by " the reflex action of the mind." A 
common explanation is ventriloquism. Electricity is another. 



FBANCE, ITALY, AND BUSSIA. 119 

and it is said that I haye an electric battery concealed about 
my person. Then there are the od force and fluid action, and 
the nervous principle, and collusion, illusion and delusion. 
Mechanical contrivances attached to the lower extremities 
are also suggested by Sir David Brewster, but without 
specifying their particular nature. But the most scientific 
and learned explanation, leaving no room for conjectures, 
was given by an old woman in America, who when asked if 
she could account for what she had seen, replied, "Lor, 
Sirs, it's easy enough, he only rubs himself all over with a 
gold pencil." The rappings are produced in many ways, 
each philosopher having his own theory, beginning low 
down with the snapping of the toe-joints, others getting up 
to the ancle, whilst some maintain it to be in the knees, or 
thigh bones. Professor Huxley has his own " spirit-rapping 
toe" with which he amuses his friends. It has even been 
attributed to a strong beating of my pulse. Some say I rub 
my boots together, others my thumb nails, and that springs 
are concealed in the table and about the room. It has been 
said that I have an electrical quality which I can throw 
off at the command of my will. A general belief is that I 
bribe the servants at whatever house I visit, that they may 
aid me in concealing my machinery. The intelligence dis- 
played in obtaining names, dates, and other circumstances, 
is previously commimicat«d to me either by my own inquiry, 
from servants or by visiting the tombstones of the relatives, 
or even by a body of secret police who are in my pay. 
Others know that I am clairvoyant, and that I read the 
thoughts of those present. I am an accomplished juggler 
according to others, and have always refused to be seen 
by any others of the craft, although the fact is quite the 
contrary, and the greatest juggler of France has stated that 
he could not at all account for what he witnessed by any of 
the principles of his art. 

However flattering all this might be to my vanity, in con- 
ferring upon me such astounding qualities and scientific 
acquirements which I do not possess, it has been to me a 
source chiefly of amusement and wonder, to see how learned 



120 FBANCE, ITALY, AJ7D BU8SIA« 

persons could so widely and absurdly disagree among them- 
selves, and strain at gnats, though swallowing camels with 
such surprising greediness. I have wandered from my 
narrative to give my readers these attempted explanations 
of mediumship, hoping, however, that they will never try 
any of the experiments suggested by the learned in the pre- 
sence of persons of average understanding. The excellent 
establishment at Earlswood, at the head of which is the 
good Dr. Conolly, would be more likely to famish the sort 
of audience suited for these explanations of the men of 
science. 

My good friends the Count and Countess De B left 

Biarritz with me on a visit to the chateau of a mutual friend, 
near Bordeaux; and here there were several instances of 
direct spirit writing on paper placed before us on the 
table in full view. Whilst we were sitting one evening, 
hands appeared distinctly above the table, and we saw 
them successively take up a pencil and write. One of these 
hands was a small one, apparently of a child, another ap- 
peared to be that of a full grown man. The hand of the 
child wrote a little message to her mother who was present, 
and signed it with her christian name. There was a 
striking peculiarity in this, as the child had always left 
out the last letter of her name, which then, instead of 
being a female name, became a male one. Her name was 
Denise, but she wrote it " Denis." Her mother had often 
spoken to her of this, and yet the child had not corrected 
herself of the habit during her life, and now to prove her 
identity, the final letter was again left out. This was of 
course unknown to me, and to all except her father and 
mother both of whom were there. The larger hand wrote 
several communications in our presence, some for his wife, 
who was at the table, and others to persons who were not 
there present. This handwriting was in his peculiar auto- 
graph. 

The lady of the house turned to me and said abruptly, 
" Why you are sitting in the air ;" and on looking we 
found that the chair remained in its place, but that I 



FRANCE, ITALY, AKD BU8SIA. 121 

was elevated two or three inches above it, and my feet not 
touching the floor. This may show how utterly unconscious 
I am at times to the sensation of levitation. Ab is usual 
when I have not got above the level of the heads of those 
about me, and when they change their position much, as they 
frequently do in looking wistfully at such a phenomenon, I 
came down again, but not till I had remained so raised 
about half a minute from the time of its being first seen. I 
was now impressed to leave the table and was soon carried 

to the lofty ceiling. The Count de B left his place at 

the table, and coming under where I was, said, " Now, 
young Home, come and let me touch your feet." I told him 
I had no volition in the matter, but perhaps the spirits 
would kindly allow me to come down to him. They did 
so, by floating me down to him, and my feet were soon in 
his outstretched hands. He seized my boots, and now I 
was again elevated, he holding tightly, and puUing at my 
feet till the boots I wore, which had elastic sides, came 
off, and remained in his hands. The Count has all his life 
been well known, holding an important public position, and 
as truthful as his heart is good. To him and his dear wife, 
who has recently passed from earth, I owe a deep debt of 
gratitude, they having been my firm and fast friends ever 
since I made their acquaintance, six years ago. This was, I 
believe, the first time of my being raised in the air in France, 
and it has been of very seldom occurrence there, though it 
happened so frequently afterwards in England, as will be seen 
in future pages. Since I wrote the narrative of this stance, 
I have applied to the Count for his verification of it, and I 
have his letter stating its correctness. 

Another incident occurred in the presence of the Count de 

B . The Countess X was present for the first tima 

at a stance, when a spirit manifested himself, purporting to 
be that of her son. The accordion was being played, and 
she asked if he could remember a piece of music which had 
particularly struck them both whilst they were travelling 
together for his health in Germany. It had escaped her 
mind she said, but it covld be easily recalled to her if he 



FRANCS, ITALY, AKD BU88IA. 

would play it. Upon tliis the accordion played some intricate 
passages from the opera of Norma, which she at once 
recognized. 

I now returned to Paris, and went to reside with my 

friend the Count de £ , and whilst there I had sittings 

almost every day. I also went on a visit to the Chateau de 

E , to the family of the Marquis de . The second 

evening of my stay, as we were about to take tea, a table 
standing at the further end of the large saloon where we 
were, came up to us with extreme violence* We were all rather 
startled, as we were not expecting any manifestations, and 
for the next two hours they were unceasing. The elder son 
of the family, the Count L- — came to my room, when I had 
wished the fsimily good night, and these proofs of a spirit 
presence were again made most evident. Amongst others there 
were the sound of heavy footsteps which shook the room. I 
also saw the distinct form of a boy, and described his ap- 
pearance to L , adding that I could recognize him if I 

could see his portrait. On meeting the family at breakfast 
the following morning the Marquis said, " What time did 

L leave you last night, and what were you both doing 

jumping about the room P" We told him that we had both 
of us our slippers on, and that he must have heard the 
noises made by the spirits. The chateau, being one of the 
very oldest in France, has the walls in some places nearly 
twenty feet thick, indeed dressing-rooms have been made in 
them, and they are quite spacious. There is solidity to every 
floor. In order, therefore, to have been heard in the room 
beneath, the manifestations must have been of very great 
force. After breakfast the Marchioness asked me if I would 
not like to go over the chateau, and on my assenting, she 
said we will begin with my boudoir. We went there, and 
on reaching the centre of the room I looked round and there 
I saw the very face I had seen the night previous. For a 
moment I could not bring myself to believe it to be other than 
the spirit himself, but it was only a portrait. My emotion 

was such that I caught hold of L , who stood near me, 

and said, ^^ There, that is the boy I saw last night." I was 



FBANCE, ITALY, AND SXTBSIA. 123 

BO overcome that I had to leave the room, and they then 

told me that L having related what had occurred to his 

mother, they had arranged to put me to the test, and not 
having even told me of the existence of the portrait, they 
wished to see if I could recognize it. 

In an hotel situate on the Boulevard des ItaHens in Paris, 

I was introduced to a family, consisting of Mr. H- , his 

wife, and their two sons, both of whom were at that time in 
the English army, and had just returned from the Crimean 
campaign. The father, a cool-headed, truthful minded man, 
was a countryman of mine, and our conversation soon 
turned upon the wonders of second sight and ghost seeing. 
Presently, whilst we were talking together, we were startled 
at hearing loud sounds coming from a distant part of the 
room, and slowly approaching us. I at once suggested to 
them that some spirit desired to communicate with us. The 
unseen one assented to this by making tlie sounds for the 
alphabet, and the name of " Gregoire" was spelt out, with 
the additional information that he had passed from earth, 
giving the time of his departure. This the two young 
officers at once and strongly contradicted, for they recog- 
nized in the name a very intimate friend, an officer in the 
French army in the Crimea, whom they had only just left there 
suffering under a slight wound, but so slight that it gave no 
apprehensions of an unfavourable kind. He, however, now 
gave them other proofs of his identity, and during the whole 
of the remaining hours of the afternoon and evening he con- 
tinued to make his presence manifest. Several times things 
were brought from parts of the room distant from us, and 
there were frequent raps, and his friends felt touches. 
Sounds resembling the firing of musketry were heard, and 
indeed so indisputable were some of the signs given that no 
one could fail to have been convinced of spirit power and 
presence, though having seen him so lately, and having since 
heard nothing to make them think his death probable, they 
could hardly realize the likelihood of it. 

I left the family late in the evening, bidding them good- 
bye, as they were to leave for England the following day. 



124 FSANCE, ITALY, AND BXTSSIA. 

Prom a member of the family who resides in*Paris, I ascer- 
tained shortly afterwards that they had written to ascertain 
the truth as to what had been communicated to them by the 
spirit calling himself Gregoire, and that in every detail, they 
were informed, the spirit had been correct. I ought here to 
state, however, that the eldest son, previous to this corro- 
borative testimony reaching his family, had been sent with 
his regiment to Canada, and he was sitting in his tent 
when a letter reached him from his father, relating the 
results of their inquiries from the Crimea. While he was 
reading his father's letter, informing him the details of his 
friend Gregoire's departure from earth, he was startled by 
hearing a rustling sound amongst some loose papers and 
pens, which were carelessly strewn on his table. Fearing 
lest his imagination might be taking advantage of his reason, 
he called for his servant to come in and look at the table, 
and, to their mutual astonishment, they saw a pen move 
itself into an erect position and deliberately write the name 
of Gregoire on some blank paper. This fact was told me by 
the father of the young man, and I see no reason to dis- 
believe it. What object could tempt the young man to tell 
BO deliberate and wilful an untruth, if it were one, on such 
a subject ? Other strange occurrences continued with other 
members of this family after their return to England, for 
many months, and then left them in as sudden and unex- 
pected a manner as they had made their appearance. 

In January, 1858, I went to Holland, accompanied by 
Mr. T , and was presented to the Queen. The mani- 
festations at the Hague were in some instances very strong, 
and again sometimes I had stances at which nothing would 
occur, and this although in the presence of persons who were 
most desirous of witnessing them. 

I went to Amsterdam, for the purpose of meeting 
the proprietors of and writers for a magazine of infidel 
tendencies. I well remember it. We were staying at 
a large old-fashioned hotel, the cheerless cold of the rooms 
with their bleak walls and their beam-bare ceilings, as 
I sat before the fire, which was but the ghost of such as 



FBANGE, ITALY, AND BTJSSIA. 125 

we are accustomed to in England, when these eight or 
ten gentlemen were announced. None of them were 
known to me or to my friend, and I desired them at once to 
sit down, and see if any manifestations would occur. They 
appeared clever, shrewd persons, deeply read and thiiridng 
men. Cold reason had wrapped her chill mantle about their 
minds, and all that was not tangible could have no truth 
in it for them. The first tremulous sensation in the table 
and floor, which often precedes other manifestations, was 
felt. They delegated two of their niunber to sit under the 
table to watch me and my movements. Faint rappings were 
heard, and the table legs were examined to see that I had 
no springs concealed there. These manifestations increased 
in force, and they, after the most close and strict scrutiny, 
were obliged to acknowledge that they had witnessed that 
which they could in no wise account for. The alphabet was 
called for, and intelligent communications were received. 
This was a step in advance of their philosophy, and to them 
most singular, and soon the manifestations ceased, but not 
until they had each expressed their conviction that there was 
no imposture. I have since been informed, by letters from 
Amsterdam, that one of them became a medium, and that 
their general disbelief in spiritual causation was greatly modi- 
fied. I remember as my friend and I sat together after 
the party had left, we expressed a wish that they had seen 
more, and we spoke of ourselves as being sorry prophets for 
such a mission. This idea pursued me after I had gone to 
bed, and the spirit of my mother came and comforted me by 
saying that sufficient had been given, and that " the wind 
must be tempered to the shorn lainb." 

We returned to the Hague, and a deputation of young 
gentlemen from the University of Leyden called to ask me 
to visit Leyden. My engagements, however, were such as 
to necessitate my departure, and we left the following day 
for Brussels. There the power left me, and I was told by 
the spirits that it would be sometime before it would return, 
and that many things of the utmost importance to me would 
occur in the meantime. I had taken a severe cold while in 



126 



FBANCE, ITALY, AND SXTSSTA. 



Holland, but bad intended to bave remained sometime in 
Brussels to bave stances witb my young friends tbere, and 
wben I found tbat my power bad gone, I considered it 
better to return to Paris to consult my medical adviser tbere. 
I accordingly went tbere, and be pronounced my disease to 
be impoverisbment of tbe blood and great nervous depres- 
sion, and advised my going to Italy. I strongly objected to 
tbis, inasmucb as every time I leave Paris some silly stories 
are put in circulation, sucb as my being ordered away by 
tbe Emperor, or tbat I go to fly from tbe law. I remained, 
tberefore, growing daily worse for two or tbree weeks, wben 
I left, intending to stay at Turin witb my friends tbere. On 
reacbing Turin in February, I found tbe snow covering tbe 
ground to a considerable deptb, and tbe cold more intense 
tban it bad been in Paris, and so I left tbe same evening for 
Pisa, to join some friends tbere. I found Pisa very cold, and 
was advised to proceed to Epme. 

I reacbed Eome in Marcb, and refused nearly all invita- 
tions out, wisbing to be quiet to regain my bealtb. A friend 
mentioned one afternoon, wbilst we were walking togetber 
to tbe Pyncbon, tbe name of a Eussian family of distinction 
tben in Bome, and added tbat tbey were anxious to make 
my acquaintance. I excused myself on tbe ground of my 
bealtb. At tbis moment a carriage was passing us and stopped, 
and my friend before I was aware of wbat be was doing, 
introduced me to tbe Countess de Koucbeleflf, wbo asked 
me to come and sup witb tbem tbat evening, adding tbat 
tbey kept very late bours. 

I went about ten in tbe evening, and found a large party as- 
sembled. At twelve as we entered tbe supper-room sbe intro- 
duced to me a young lady, wbom I tben observed for tbe first 
time, as ber sister. A strange impression came over me at once, 
and I knew sbe was to be my wife. Wben we were seated 
at table tbe young lady turned to me and laugbingly said, 
" Mr. Home, you will be married before tbe year is ended." 
I asked ber wby sbe said so, and sbe replied, tbat tbere 
was sucb a superstition in Bussia wben a person was at table 



PEANCB, ITALY, AND BTJSSIA. 127 

between two sisters. I made no reply. It was true. In 
twelve days we were partially engaged, and waiting only the 
consent of her mother. The evening of the day of our en- 
gagement a small party had assembled, and were dancing. 
I was seated on a sofa by my jumcee, when she turned to me 
and abruptly said, " Do tell me all about spirit-rapping, for 
you know I don't believe in it.'' I said to her, " Made- 
moiselle, I trust you will ever bear in mind that I have a 
mission entrusted to me. It is a great and a holy one. I 
cannot speak with you about a thing which you have not 
seen, and therefore cannot understand. I can only say that 
it is a great truth." The tears came welling into her eyes, 
and laying her hand in mine she said, " If your mission can 
bring comfort to those less happy than ourselves, or be in 
any way a consolation to mankind, you will ever find me 
ready and willling to do all I can to aid you in it." She 
was true to this noble sentiment to the last moment of her 
short life, and she is still my great comfort and sustainer 
since we have separated in this earthly sphere. She was 
my own true, loving wife for, oh ! too short a period for my 
happiness here, but for hers I was content to lose her for a 
time, till it shall please G-od that I too pass away to join 
her! 

Shortly after our engagement the family went to Naples, 
and I with them, and we remained there six weeks. Then 
the family left for Florence, and mj fiancee was entrusted to 
the care of a Eussian family about to return by Paris to' 
Eussia, that she might join her mother, and get ready the 
necessary papers, that the marriage might take place as 
soon as the family returned to St. Petersburgh. I accom- 
panied them to Paris, and after they had left I went to Scot- 
land for my certificate of birth, the parish clerk having sent me 
one with my name written Hume instead of Home. Know- 
ing this to be incorrect I was obliged to make a journey to 
have it rectified, and then I returned to Paris, and joined 
the family who had arrived there from Italy. 

We left for St. Petersburgh in June, accompanied by M. 



128 FSAKCE, ITALY, AND BUSSIA. 

Alexandre Dumas, who was to officiate as godfather at mj 
marriage. An amusing account of our journey may be read in 
Dumas' book entitled " De Paris k Astrachan." On reaching 
St. Petersburgh I was honoured by a most kind invitation to 
be received by the Emperor, but which I was obliged to decline 
not being in power at the time, and his Majesty most gracious- 
ly sent to me to say that imder any circumstances he would 
be pleased to see me. I excused myself on the ground of hav- 
ing so much to attend to previous to my marriage. A month 
after this, certain difficulties having arisen, and the papers 
which were necessary not being forthcoming, the marriage 
seemed on the point of being postponed. I had had no 
manifestations for several months, but on this evening I 
was told by the spirit of my mother to inform the Emperor 
the next day that my power had returned. I did so, and 
was received by his Majesty at the Palace of Peterhof, where 
I spent a week, and all the obstacles in the way of my 
marriage were removed by his most gracious Majesty, who 
upon this, as upon every occasion, has shown to me the 
greatest kindness. I have the highest veneration for him, 
not only as a monarch, but as a man of the most kind and 
generous feelings. 

We were married on Sunday the 1st of August, 1858, or 
according to the old style, on the 20th July, first in the 
private chapel at the country house of my brother-in-law, 
according to the rites of the G-reek church, and afterwards 
at the Church of St. Catherine, according to the rites of the 
Eomish church. A short time after our marriage, my wife 
being in a sound quiet sleep, I saw the spirit of my mother 
come into the room, followed by one, who though I had 
never known, him on earth, I knew to be my wife's father. 
My impression was one of relief that my wife was asleep, and 
thus that she would not see what I feared would frighten her. 
My surprise was therefore very great on hearing her say, 
" Daniel, there is some one in the room with us. It is your 
mother, and near her stands my father. She 'is very beau- 
tiful, and I am not afraid." Her actions, however, betrayed 



FBANGB, ITALY, AND ST7SSIA. 129 

a certain shrinking, for she turned to the side of the bed 
where I lay, trembling violently. The spirits now disap- 
peared, but loud rappings were heard in and about the room, 
and our questions were answered. This was my wife's first 
introduction to anything of the kind. 



V60 



CHAPTEE Vm. 

BUSSIA, PABIS AND ENGLAND. 

In two weeks after our marriage we left to visit some of 
my brother-in-law's estates, some of which were situate on 
the Crimean coast, and others in the interior of Eussia. The 
journey lasted about six weeks, and we then returned to a 
country house of his in the neighbourhood of Moscow. At 
the end of November, 1868, we were at St. Petersburgh, in 
the house of my brother-in-law, the Count G-regoire Kou- 
cheleff Besborodko, from whom and the Countess I have 
ever met with the readiest sympathy and brotherly welcome, 
and to whom I owe, and ever shall owe, a debt of the deepest 
gratitude. Here from time to time my power returned, but 
generally only faintly. Still a great deal of good was done. 
As an instance, I may mention that a young officer, who 
having been convinced of the truths of immortality by what 
he saw in my presence, gave a supper to his friends, at which 
he publicly announced that in place of laughing at religion 
as he had done, he had seen in these phenomena what 
convinced him of the reality of a future life, and that thence- 
forward he should lead a different life. 

In the middle of January, 1869, I fell ill with severe 
internal inflammation. This lasted some time, and was 
increasing to an alarming extent, and beyond the power of 
the physician who attended me, and the dangerous symptoms 
were greatly increased by my usual nervous debility. Friction 
was recommended, but the extreme pain which it caused 
precluded its use. I was in this state when one evening 

my wife and a friend, the Baron de M , were present, 

and my hands were suddenly seized by spirit influence, and 



BUSSIA, FABIS AND ENGLAND. 131 

I was made to beat tliem with extreme violence upon the 
part which was so extremely sensitive and tender. My wife 
was frightened, and would have endeavoured to hold my 
hands, but my friend who had had sufficient knowledge of 
spirit manifestations prevented her. I felt no pain, though 
the violence of the blows which I continued giving to myself 
made the bed and the whole room shake. In live minutes 
time the swelling had visibly decreased, and the movements 
of the hand began to be more gentle. In an hour I was in 
a quiet sleep, and on awaking the next morning I found the 
disease had left me, and only a weakness remained. The 
expression of the doctor's face baffles my description when he 
visited me early that morning, expecting to have found me 
worse, and felt my pulse and saw that a great change 
must have occurred beyond his skill to account for. 

On the 26th April, old style, or 8th May, according to 
our style, at seven in the evening, and as the snow was fast 
falling, our little boy was bom at the town house, situate 
on the Gragarines Quay, in St. Petersburgh, where we were 
still staying. A few hours after his birth, his mother, the 
nurse and I heard for several hours the warbling of a bird 
as if singing over hha. Also that night, and for two or 
three nights afterwards, a bright star like light, which was 
clearly visible from the partial darkness of the room, in 
which there was only a night lamp burning, appeared several 
times directly over its head, where it remained for some 
moments, and then slowly moved in the direction of the 
door, where it disappeared. This was also seen by each of 
us at the same time. The light was more condensed than 
those which have been so often seen in my presence upon 
previous and subsequent occasions. It was brighter and more 
distinctly globular. I do not believe tliat it came through 
my mediumship, but rather through thafc of the child, who 
has manifested on several occasions the present of the gift. 
I do not like to allude to such a matter, but as there are 
more strange things in Heaven and earth than are dreamt of, 
even in my philosophy, I do not feel myself at liberty to omit 
stating, that during the latter part of my wife's pregnancy, 

K 2 



132 RUSSIA, FABIS AND ENGLAND. 

we thought it better that she should not join in stances, 
because it was found that whenever the rappings occurred in 
the room, a simultaneous movement of the child was dis- 
tinctly felt, perfectly in unison with the sounds. When 
there were three sounds, three movements were felt, and so 
on, and when five sounds were heard, which is generally the 
call for the alphabet, she felt the five internal movements, 
and she would frequently, when we were mistaken in the 
letter, correct us from what the child indicated. 

Our boy was christened a fortnight after his birth, his 
godfather being the Marquis de Chateaureynard, at present 
Minister of France at Hesse Oassel, and his godmother his 
aunjb, the Countess Luba. His second godfather was his 
uncle, the Count Gregoire, and his second godmother was 
his relative Sophie. * 

A week after the christening, we went to the residence of 
the Count in the immediate environs of St. Petersburgh. 
Whilst heie, there were many striking manifestations which 
were witnessed by many, who investigated as others had 
done before, and with the same results. One evening I re- 
member, one of my friends was converted from his previous 
unbelief by seeing a female hand, which was visible to all 
of us in the room, slowly forming in the air a few inches 
above the table, until it assumed all the apparent mate- 
riality of a real hand. The hand took up a pencil which 
was on the table, and wrote with it a communication which 
deeply affected my friend, who recognised it as being from 
his mother. The general belief is, that the spirit hands 
always appear from beneath the table, and already formed, 
but this is incorrect, for on many occasions in the presence 
of several persons at a time, they are seen to be formed in 
full sight of all, in the manner I have just described, and 
to melt away, as it were, in the same way. Often too, they 
have been seen to form themselves high above our heads, and 
from thence to descend upon the table, and then disappear. 
The anniversary of our wedding-day found us on the 
steamer * Baltic' bound for Dunkerque, from whence we 
went to Ostend on a visit to my mother-in-law, who was 



BUSSIA, FABI3 AND ENGLAND. 138 

there for her health. On seeing her, at the moment of onr 
embracing one another, I had another of those singular im- 
pressions which so often come to me at the moment of ex- 
ternal contact. It has seemed to me as if they were caused 
by the disturbing element of a physical substance which causes 
some secret chord of the soul to vibrate and awaken what I 
may call a memory of the Future, or that a flower of the spring- 
time has been shadowed forth among the chill blasts of 
autumn, as a token of the never ceasing care of God, our 
loving father, for His children whether in the Past, Present 
or Future, all being alike known to Him. My sensations 
are so peculiar at the time when such foreshadowings are 
granted me, that words can but feebly express them. I 
distinctly saw at the first moment of touching my mother- 
in-law, that after I sBould leave Ostend, we should meet no 
more on earth. This impressional prediction, did, as has 
ever been the case with those which have come to me in this 
way, prove correct. 

We arrived in Paris in August 1859, and whilst there, I 
paid a short visit to a friend then in Switzerland, and there 
we had one or two sittings. On f eturning to Paris, a friend 
had kindly offered us the use of the Chateau de — , where 
we remained about two months, at the expiration of which 
time we came to England. This was in October. My power 
had left me for some weeks. One evening in November 
while I was absent, my wife being in the room with the 
child and his nurse, loud raps were heard upon the ceiling. 
They both supposed that the sounds proceeded from some 
one walking overhead, when they changed their position, 
and were heard upon the wall of the room, and in a few 
moments they came on the table. My wife asked who was 
the medium upon the occasion, and the reply was given that 
it was the sleeping child. It was further said, that they 
had power to manifest through him, but that they would 
not, " as the atmosphere which they made use of was neces- 
sary for his physical development in the natural world." 
From this time we have but once had any external evidence 



134 BUSSIA, FABIS AND ENGLAND. 

of any spirit presence through him, though he has given up 
many indications of his being a seer. 

In the latter part of November we were in England, and 
the power returned, and I began to hold seances as usual, and 
continued to do so until the 24th of July in the following year. 
During this time, the manifestations were seen and investi- 
gated by persons of all ranks and classes, from statesmen down 
to those in humble life, and to them again I would rather refer 
for the accounts of what they witnessed, than to give my own 
desscriptions. I select, therefore, portions of their writings, 
a few of which have already been published in " The Spiri- 
tual Magazine" and other Journals, and the others now ap- 
pear for the first time. These will give the reader an idea 
of the nature and extent of my mediumship during this 
period. 

The subjoined is a portion of a letter from Mr. Pears, 
who was accompanied by my friends Mr. and Mrs. Cox. He 
now saw the manifestations for the first time. " Almost imme- 
diately the table tilted towards Mr. Home, who, raising his 
hands from the table, which still retained its inclined posi- 
tion, invited me to look under it, to see that no material 
means were used to produce this result. I did look, and 
saw none. On resuming my seat, the table returned to its 
position, and then it passed into an undulatory movement, 
as if it were in motion on waves ; it seemed, indeed, almost 
as if the top of the table were flexible : then from this move- 
ment it passed into a perfectly horizontal state, so that a 
vessel filled to the brim, would not, I think, have spilled a 
drop, and it rose from eighteen to twenty-four inches clear 
from the floor, all hands at the same time continuing on the 
top of the table ; and finally with perfect evenness it gradually 
descending to its place. 

" Eaps were then heard on the table, in the vicinity of 
Mrs. Cox, which, by reference to the alphabet, purported 
to be produced by a deceased child of hers. Then faint de- 
liberate raps came near to Mrs. P., purporting — ^by the 



BUSSIAy PABIS AKD ENGLAND. 135 

same mode — to come from Phoelx'., our deceased little daugli- 
ter to whom I referred before. 

" Eaps were then heard under my own hands, and at the 
same time the depending cloth covering the table seemed to 
be moved up bj something under it, and was made thus 
to strike against my wrist. I called my wife's attention to 
this, and she confirmed the fa:t, that it really did seem as 
if some one's hand was under the cloth, trying to touch my 
wrist. I said, half laughing, which you might expect from 
my scepticism, that I should not wonder if there were not 
some one for me also. Immediately there were raps under 
the same hand, strong enough to shake the table. 

" Perhaps I looked dubiously at a phenomenon so unex- 
pected, for Mr. Home said, * I should like Mr. Pears to be con- 
vinced that we do not make these sounds ; perhaps he would 
get under the table and observe.' I did so ; and while I 
saw that they were not produced by any visible agency 
beneath, they were sounding as vigorously as ever ; Mrs. P. 
being witness to their not being produced by the hands, or 
any other visible means above board. 

" When I found that the raps under my hand purported 
to come from my grandfather's * spirit,* I asked if he could 
take the Lvrge bell from me if I held it. It had abeady 
been taken out of Mr. Home's hand and rung under the table. 
The response to my question was given by strong knocks. 
I held it under the table, being careful to hold it in the di- 
rection of my wife, whose hands were on the table, and I 
felt it tugged with strength out of my hand ; it was rung, 
and then deposited on the floor. 

" Many little things which struck me at the time, occurred 
during our stance, which lasted between two and three 
hours. But there was one part of the stance which forcibly 
struck me, and which I must relate. Mr. Home, soon after 
I had assumed the presence of my grandfather's spirit, 
passed into a singular state — half unconscious as it were — 
and said, ' Here's a tall, old, upiight, Quaker-like man, yet 
not a Quaker ;' then he seemed to take on the manner and 
gesture, as closely as a yoimg man can, of those of an old 



136 SUBSIA, PABIB AND ENGLAND. 

one — ^beld out his liand to me, and grasped it in a way that 
further reminded me of my grandfather, and addressed me 
in words somewhat characteristic of him, and went on to 
speak of one whom he had held very dear, but from whom 
he had been long separated to his great grief, but that they 
had happily met in the other world and were reconciled. 
All upon this point was said in a broken way, but with ges- 
tures and allusions which were intelligible solely to myself, 
as the person and events so alluded to touched closely upon 
my grandfather's history in conjunction with my own. My 
astonishment was increased, when, from Mr. H.'s lips, fell 
the name of her to whom the allusion had been made — ^my 
grandfather's daughter ! both dead when Mr. Home must 
have been a boy in America ! Long as I have known you, 
friend Dixon, I think I never told you that my grandfather 
was of a Quaker family, which was the case. 

" I was by this incident, astonished beyond expression, 
and acknowledged to Mr. Cox, that the history which had 
been sketched, and the reflections upon it, were just what 
I should have expected might have been made by my grand- 
father. 

" I have not yet found a place in my system for these 
phenomena, but that they are genuine phenomena, is settled 
in my mind." 

Another acoount is given by Mr. J. G. Crawford, a gen- 
tleman who had for years resisted all belief in such pheno- 
mena as being impossible and absurd. It happened that 
a friend of his from Liverpool was coming to meet me at the 
house of Mr. Coleman, in Bayswater, and he induced him 
to accompany him. He shall tell the story in his own 
frank and truthful words : 

. *' Mr. Home laid his left hand on the table and with his 
right lifted an accordion, which he held under the table. My 
friend and I were asked to look below, when we distinctly 
saw it move up and down, apparently held and touched by 
one hand only. 



SXrSSIA, FABIS AND ENGLAND. 137 

" We continued to sit*rotind the table. The room was 
made bo dark that we could not see each other. The table 
gave a violent stamp upon the floor ; still we kept our hands 
upon it. Then it rose in a mass, twelve or fifteen inches 
quite off the floor, so far as I could judge. 

" Mr. Home now said that he held the accordion under 
the table by one hand only, when it played our beautiful 
English tune, * Home, sweet Home !* in a most finished 
style. 

" Shortly after this occurred, a very curious affair took 
place, in explanation of which I cannot hazard a conjecture. 
Mr. Home remarked, * I feel as if I am going to rise.' The 
room was quite dark. He said, ' I am getting up,' and as 
I was only a few feet from him, I put out my hand to him ; 
I indubitably felt the soles of both his boots, some three 
feet above the level of the floor. On my doing so, he said, 
* Don't touch me, or I shall come down ; of course I in- 
stantly desisted, but down he came. In less than five mi- 
nutes after this, he remarked, * I am again ascending,' and 
from the sound of his voice, we could not but infer that he 
was actually rising towards the ceiling of the ante-room. 

" He then appeared to float under the archway, then to 
rise to the cornice of the room we were sitting in, and we 
heard him quite distinctly make three cross marks on the 
cieling, besides doing some other writing. Then he came softly 
down, and lay stretched out with his back upon the table, 
in which position we found him when the gas was lighted, 
and when we distinctly saw the marks on the ceiling, which 
we had heard him make. 

" I am well aware there is a ready answer by many well- 
disposed persons to what I have written — that it is all done 
by collusion and trick. In many countries at the present 
thne, and in our own not a century back, all phenomena of 
a then eai^ra-ordinary kind, were quickly put down to the 
account of the devil. He prompted GaHleo to the adopted 
system of astronomy ; Harvey to the circulation of the 
blood ; he was the cause of witchcraft in Scotland, and had 
much to do with the wonders of chemistry, before it attained 



138 BX7B8IA, PABIS AlETD ENQLAND. 

its present scientific certainty and value to tlie arts and 
agriculture. But the testimony of thousands of excellent 
witnesses cannot be set aside by any such plea. Not many 
years ago it was fashionable to deny the facts and uses of 
chloroform, homoeopathy, hydropathy, magnetism, mesme- 
rism, &c, ; now the curative powers of these agents are com- 
monly received amongst us as ' household words.' i There 
appears to be a law of progressive development in the uni- 
verse. Should the supposed facts of Spiritualism be found 
to be real, after oft-repeated experiments, we cannot doubt 
but they also will have a permanent place with recent dis- 
coveries. No one, now-a-days, who thinks at all, can be so 
bold and unwise as to deny that ' there are more things in 
heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.' 

" In the simple statement I have given, of what my friend 
and I were satisfied occurred on the evening of our visit to 

Villas, I have avoided colouring the events, and for 

the sake of greater definiteness, have given figures of .sizes, 
which, however, must be taken merely as a near approxima- 
tion to the actual measurements." 

J. G. Cbawtobd. 

Mr. Crawford mentions the circumstance of my imme« 
diately coming to the ground again on his touching my feet. 
I have observed that this is invariably the case when I am 
touched, or even anxiously gazed at, until I have risen above 
the heads of those who are in the room, but after I have 
attained that height, their looking at me, or touching me, 
has no effect upon me. What the cause may be I cannot 
explain, but it may perhaps be some break in the magnetism 
which is caused in the former case, and which does not 
occur in the latter. 

On the 3rd of April, 1860, I had been with some friends 
to a lecture given in St. John's Wood, by M. Louis Blanc, 
" On the Mysterious persons and agencies in France towards 
the end of the eighteenth century." His lecture was a good 
deal occupied with Cagliostro, and during the time he was 
speaking, I had the strongest impression of the presence of 



BUSSIA, FABTS AND ENaLAND. 139 

Cagliostro, and the lady who was sitting next me, was also 
aware of some strong spirit presence bj having her dress 
pulled, and by other manifestations. 

On returning home, I found that my wife had retired ear- 
lier than usual in consequence of a severe headache. In the 
course of conversation together, she having asked how I 
had liked the lecture, I said, '^ I have been haunted all the 
evening by Cagliostro," on which she exclaimed, " Pray do 
not use that word haunted, it sounds so weird-like, and 
quite frightens me." I had by this time extinguished the 
light, and was now in bed, when to my amazement the room 
became as light as if the sun had for an instant shone fully 
in at the window. Thinking that this effect might have 
been only on my spiritual perception, I said, " Sacha, did 
you see anything ?" Her reply was, " No, nor could I, for 
my face was quite buried in my pillow, the pain in xdj head 
is so intense." I asked her to observe, and I then mentally 
asked that if the light had been external, it might be re- 
produced. Almost simultaneously with the thought, came 
the light again, so distinct, and with such brilliancy, that 
no noon-day was ever brighter. My wife asked if this was 
the spirit of Cagliostro, and the affirmative reply was in- 
stantly given by three flashes of light, so vivid as almost to 
be blinding and painful to the sight. Answers were gi^en to 
various questions in the same wonderful manner, and then 
in answer to a question asked, came a musical tinkle, as if 
a silver bell had been touched directly over our heads. In 
this way our farther answers were now given, and we then 
heard a footstep on the floor, falling so gently as if it feared 
to disturb us by its approach. My wife asked that it shoidd 
come nearer, and it approached us till we felt a form lean- 
ing over the bed. In doing this, it pressed upon the bed- 
clothes just as an actual material presence would have done. 
We asked him if he had been a medium when on earth, and 
a distinct voice, audible to both of us, said in answer, " My 
power was that of a mesmerist, but all-misunderstood by 
those about me, my biographers have even done me injus- 
tice, but I care not for the untruths of earth." Both my 



140 BTTSSIA, FABI8 AND ENGLAND. 

wife and myself were bj this time so impressed by such 
startling and almost terribly real evidence of the presence 
of one who was in no way related to us, that for a few mo- 
ments all power of utterance seemed to have left us. We 
were, however, soon recalled to ourselves by a hand being 
placed on our heads, and she, seizing my hands in hers, 
Jield them up, saying, " Dear spirit, will you be onei of my 
guardian angels — watch over me with my father, teach me 
what you would have me do, and make me thankful to G-od 
for all his mercies ?" Our hands were clasped by a hand, 
and her left hand was gently separated from mine, and a 
ring, which was the signet-ring of my father-in-law, was 
placed on her third finger. This ring was previously in the 
room, but at a distance of at least twelve feet from where 
the bed stood. "Q-ood night, dear ones, and Q-od bless 
you," was then audibly spoken, and simultaneously with the 
sound came three waffcs of perfume, so delicious that we 
both exclaimed, " How truly wonderful !" 

Her headache was perfectly cured, and although our 
nerves had been greatly agitated, we slept soundly. The 
following day, and indeed ifor several days afterwards, my 
wife had occasional proofs of the presence of this spirit, and 
he remained with her up to the time of her passing from 
earth, and during the last months of our stay in England 
she frequently saw him. 

About the middle of May, 1860, my mother-in-law wrote 
to us from St. Petersburgh, as follows : — 

" Dear children, — ^Tou may not be aware that to-morrow 
1 am to undergo a surgical operation. I have seen my con- 
fessor ; I have taken the sacrament, and I now feel quite 
happy. Do not be alarmed, but do as I do — ^trust in 
God." 

On the morning of Monday, the 29th May, my wife being 
then engaged at a bazaar held at the Crystal Palace, 
Sydenham, I proposed to visit with a friend the establish- 
ment of Messrs. Barclay and Perkins. We drove there, and 



BUSSIA, PABI8 AND ENGLAND. 141 

had gone over nearly all the estabHshment, when in the 
baiTelling-room one of the workmen proposed our tasting the 
porter. Mj Mend was tasting it, and the attendant brought 
me a pot. I put out mj hand to take it, and as my fingers 
came in contact with the metal, a deep shudder conTulsed my 
frame, and I suddenly knew that my dear mother-in-law, 
who had been for many years a patient sufferer, had been 
released from her earthly troubles. I refused the porter, and 
requested my friend to accompany me home. He wished to 
remain with me, but I begged to be alone. In an hour's 
time I was calm, and I reasoned with myself how I could 
best conceal the painful intelligence from my wife. That 
evenuig at a seance she asked how her mother was. The 
reply given was, " It is well with her now." All present but 
herself understood well to what this alluded, and a friend on 
my left did all she could to conceal her tears. 

On the Thursday afterwards I heard my wife running up 
to my room. As she opened the door, and before she had 
time to speak, and indeed before I had seen her, I said, 
" Why, Sacha, I knew it last Monday." She came to my 
bedside, and gave me a letter addressed .to me from my 
sister-in-law containing a telegraphic dispatch, announcing 
that TDj mother-in-law had passed from earth on the Monday, 
and this letter my wife had opened. Two nights after this, 

at a stance where the Count T and an atheist friend 

of his were present, her dear spirit came, and her hands 
were made visible, resting on her daughter's head, and after- 
wards on mine. She wrote in her own peculiar handwriting, 
" You will love her always, won't you ?" and she signed it 
" Nathalie." He who came an atheist, was one no longer. 

I take the following account of some new manifestations 
from the " Spiritual Magazine." It is called " Two Even- 
ings with Mr. Home," and is introduced by the editor, who 
says: — 

" We have received from two correspondents, well known 
to us, the following account of manifestations on the evening 
of the 1st and 9th of May last, each evening in the presence 



142 BX7S8IA, FABIS AND £NaLAND. 

of nine persons, whose names liave been furnished to us, and 
which we are permitted to supply privately to any inquirer 
who feels that the knowledge of the names is necessary for 
his l)elief. In the meantime we can vouch publicly for the 
perfect confidence which the narratives inspire us with, 
having heard the whole account from the lips of the narra- 
tors, previous to receiving the MS. from them. 

"Maylst, 1860. 

" The party was composed of Mr. and Mrs. Home and 
seven other ladies and gentlemen. We sat at the round 
table in the large drawing«room. Mr. Home's hand was 
moved to write : — * The spirit of John is one who was kind to 
your father during the voyage to America.' No one under- 
stood this ; but Mr. entering the room a minute after- 
wards, expressed his conviction that it was intended for him, 
as his father had been to America. Three loud raps gave 
assent to what he said. The table then moved away from 
us, and we enquired if they wished us to draw it to the 
window. It was answered, ' Yes.' We accordingly did so, 
leaving a vacant space against the window, unclosing the 
shutters, and by their directions extinguishing the candles. 
The fire burned brightly. It was spelled out, " There is a 

little too much light." Mr. and screened the fire 

as much as possible, and the moon and gaslight from the 
street then alone lighted up the table ; but did so completely 
as the moon was very bright. The spirit of Albert then 
took the accordion, and played a beautiful air of unearthly 
harmony. Mr. Home and I held the accordion together 
under the talle, for the p^wer was very strong, and the 
music loud ; and the instrument at times was nearly carried 
away fr m us. 

" After a short time there rose slowly in the si>ace made by 
the window a most lovely hand of a female — we saw als ) part 
of the beautiful arm as it held it up aloft for some time — ^we 
were all greatly amazed. This hand was so transparent and 
luminous, and so unearthly and angelic, that our hearts were 



BUBSIAy PABIS AJETD ENGLAKD. 143 

filled with gratitude towards the Creator for permitting so 
wonderful a manifestation. The hand was visible to us 
more from the internal light which seemed to stream as it 
were out of it, than from the external light of the moon. As 

soon as it slowly vanished, Mdlle. , who sat next to the 

open space, saw another hand forming itself close to her ; 
and a man's hand was raised and placed on the table, far more 
earthly and life-like in appearance, and one that I thought 
I recognized, (we were subsequently told that I was right in 
conjecture). Then came a dear baby-hand : then the baby 
(Mrs. If- — 's adopted child) showed its head ; and finally, 
spirit-hands held up the little child, so that all nine of us 
saw her shoulders and waist. After this, a hand and arm 
rose luminous and beautiful, covered with a white trans- 
parent drapery ; and this hand remained visible to us all for 
at least five minutes, and made us courteous and graceful 
gestures. 

" Then spirit-hands held up to us an exquisite wreath of 
white flowers. I never saw any wreath made by human 
hands so perfect in form and design ; and calling for the 
alphabet said, * The spirit emblem of William's mother.' 
Then we were told they would shew us * The emblem of 
superstition ;' and a black shrivelled hand arose. On some 
of us remarking that we could not see it well, the curtains 
were at once moved aside, and the blind drawn away from 
the top of the window. It was beyond the reach of any of us ; 
and they then showed us the hand again, so that we all could 
see it. The * emblem of truth' was then shewn. This was 
more beautiful than all the rest — a fairy-like f 'Untain of ap- 
parently clear sparkling water which threw up showers of 
silvery rays, vanishing from our sight like mist, and dwell- 
ing on the memory as perfection. Aftei' this it was rapped 
out, * We can do no more.' 

" Mr. Home was put into a trance, anl as he fell back in 
his chair a gleam of the most vivid light fell upon me. This 
light fell over my shoulders, and gleamed on my right hand, 
and came from a direction whence no earthly light could 
have come. It came from a part of the room where the 



144 BX7SSIA, PABI8 AND BNOLAKD. 

spirit of one who was a friend of mine when on earth has 
often stood before, and from whence he has communicated to 
US. This light was seen by no one but myself; but as I 
turned round in hope of seeing the spirit, Mr. Home said to 
me, ' Yes, he is there ;' and added a communication from 
him. He then told us that the first hand that we saw had 
been that of his own mother ; the second was my father's, as 
I had silently expected ; and the hand and arm in drapery 
that remained so long, came for Prudence, and was the 
same that she had seen one night when alone, several years 
ago, at Paris, before she had ever heard of spirit-manifesta- 
tions. He also gave us the full name of the ^ spirit John,' 

who had gone to America with Mr. A 's father ; and 

added some private information, which Jilr. A confirmed 

as true. 

" The events of this evening having been so wonderful, I 
have begged my friends present on the occasion to read over 
this account, and to sign it as witnesses to the truth of 
what I have stated." 

"May 9th, 1860. 

" Mingling with those interested in witnessing evidences 
of spirit power, I glady accepted an invitation to meet a few 
friends on Monday the 9th of May, 1860, at a house at the 
West-end. At a quarter after eight o'clock, we went into 
the adjoining back drawing-room, and sat down to a loo 
table. There were nine of us, Mr. Home being one of the 
number. Immediately the table commenced vibrating and 
gently lifting itself off the floor > I say lifting itaelf, because 
no human beings in human clay were the actors. Nothing 
occurred for a few minutes, during which conversation was 
kept up, and then the table gradually rose up ojf <^^or 
about four feet, or rather more than a foot beyond our out- 
stretched arms, the hands of which had rested gently on the 
table before its ascent. It then descended. Mr. Home took 
the accordion in his right hand, by the rim at the bottom of 
the instrument, leaving his left hand on the table, and then 



RUSSIA, PiJbIS AND ENGLAND. 145 

were played some beautiful voluntaries, exquisitely attenuated, 
.yet clear and melodious. They then came out gradually 
fuller, and yet more full, till the room seemed filled with the 
volume of sound like a pealing organ, and still no false note. 
A friend, sitting next to me, forgetting himself, exclaimed, 

* My God, how wonderful V and after a breath, asked * if 
they would give us some air we knew ?' and having asked for 

* Gk)d save the Queen,* it was played at once. 

" A lady present, whose little boy had recently died, had 
indications of her son being in the room ; and the accordion 
suddenly commenced playing a well-known air, which on 
earth the little boy was very fond of, as tallying with his 
mamma's name. Eeader, was not there a truth of life and 
of hve in the incident ? The mother thought so, and her 
tears betrayed her thoughts. 

" The detonations on the table, and sometimes under my 
hands, were as sharp, and as clear, and as loud, as if struck 
vigorously with the edge of a penny-piece. 

" It was then rapped out by the sounds — ' Go to the win- 
dow;* we rose, and moved the loo table to about eighteen 
inches from the window. We sat down again, but more 
closely, so as to allow a vacant space at the side of the table, 
opposite the window. The sounds then gave out, * Put out 
the lights,' which was done. We found that though the 
room was dark, yet the light from the window was sufficient 
for us to faintly see each other. The window-blind then 
commenced moving up and down — no one near it— evidently 
to tone the light ; and while we were remarking the singu- 
larity of the phenomenon, and how high it went, all looking 
at it — suddenly it sprung up to the top, and then came 
gently down to its original position. Mr. Home felt some- 
thing on his head, and found it was a leaf. Suddenly the 
leaf of a geranium was taken and dropped into the lap of a 
lady sitting at the table. We heard the snap as if breaking 
off the stem of a flower, and immediately came down past 
the left ear of my friend, and on to his knee, a sprig of ge- 
ranium ; while he held it up for us to see, I expressed a 
wish to have one, when a sprig came past my right ear on 

L 



146 BTJSSIA, PABIS AND ENGLAKD. 

to my knee. I picked it up, and while showing it, another 
came past my face as if from the ceiling. The geranium 
plant was in the room several feet from any of us, and the 
sprigs came down both on the right and left of me. 

" After a pause, Mr. Home said he felt as he were about 
to be lifted up; he moved from the table, and shortly he 
said, ' I am rising' — but we could not see him — * they have 
put me on my back.' I asked, will you kindly bring him, 
as much as possible, towards the window, so that we may 
see him ; and at once he was floated with his feet horizon- 
tally into the light of the window, so that we all saw his feet 
and a part of his legs resting or floating on the air like a 
feather, about six feet from the ground, and three feet above 
the height of the table. He was then floated into the dark ; 
and he exclaimed : * They have turned me round, and I am 
coming towards you.' I saw his head and face, the same 
height as before, and as if floating on air instead of water. 
He then floated back, and came down and walked up to, 
and sat on the edge of the table we were at, when the table 
began to rise with him on it. Mr. Home was then taken 
behind to the settee next to me , and while there, we heard 
sounds several times as of some one giving utterance to a 
monosyllable in the middle of the room. Feeling a pres- 
sure against my chair, I looked, and saw that the ottoman 
had been brought along the floor about six feet, no one 
touching it, and close to Mr. Home. He said, * I suppose 
it is for me to rest on,' — he lay down, and the ottoman went 
back to its original position — * Oh I I am getting excited, let 
some one come and sit with me.' I went, and sat beside 
him ; he took my hand ; and in about a minute, and with- 
out any muscular action, he gently floated away from me, 
and was lost in the darkness. He kept talking to let us 
know where he was. We heard his voice in various parts 
of the further end of the room, as if near the ceiling. He 
then cried out, ^ Oh ! they have brought me a cushion to sit 
upon — ^I am sitting on it — they are taking it away.' Just 
then the tassel of the cushion of another ottoman in the 
room struck me on my hair and forehead as if coming from 



BUSSIA, PABIS AKD BNGLAKD. 



147 



the ceiling, and the cushion was deposited at my feet on the 
floor, falling as if a snow flake. I next saw the shadow of 
his body on the mirror as he floated along near the ceiling. 
He said, * I wish I had a pencil to make a mark on the ceil- 
ing. I have made a cross with my nail.' He came down 
near the door, and after a pause, he was again taken up ; 
but I did not see him, but heard his voice as if near the 
ceiling. Again he came down, and shortly returned to the 
table we were at; and the sounds on the table bade us 
* Good night.' " 

This is an account of " Another evening with Mr. 
Home." It is given us in the words of the lady at whose 
house the manifestations occurred. I have not, for good 
reasons, the liberty to give her name, but I can answer for 
her position and character, and for the perfect truthfulness of 
the narrative. I have, in addition, the names of the nine 
persons who were present. 

"May tJie Srd, 1860. — The table was moved away from 
the remaining seven of us, and we followed it ; suddenly it 
rose in the air, and without any help from us was placed on 
a large sofa that stood before the window. The spirits told 
us to move this sofa away, which we immediately did, and 
the table then moved of its own accord up to the window 
where the hands had appeared to us on former occasions. 
The shutters were opened and the candles extinguished by 
their desire. Mr. Home sat next to the window, and I sat 
next to him with Miss H. on my other side. After sitting 
a few minutes quietly I felt a form glide behind* me: it 
touched my chair, placed two hands on my shoulders, and 
then drew the heavy silk curtain from a window behind 
me (we sat in a bow formed by three windows) and folded 
the drapery round me like a cloak. The hands and arms 
which enfolded me felt as palpable as human arms would 
feel. On one of the party guessing the name of the spirit, 
it was answered in the affirmative by three startling raps, 
which shook the table, and felt as if produced by a bar of 

L 2 



148 BUBBIA, PABI8 AND ENGLAND. * 

iron — no human hand could have knocked with euch force. 
As I was intently listening to catch any sound, and strain- 
ing my eyes to see any form that could make itself visible, 
my comb was taken out of my hair by a spirit hand, and 
laid on the table at a distance from me. By tiny gentle 
raps my darling spirit child told me that he had taken it. 
Then a hand rose under the window, and pulled down the 
blind. .We distinctly saw the fingers clutch the string — 
this is a green transparent blind, through which the light 
can flow softly. The hand then made graceful gestures and 
pointed upwards, and when it disappeared it was followed 
by another, and then by a child's hand. Suddenly I was 
touched on the shoulder, as if by some one standing behind 
me and wishing to draw my attention. I thought it was 
my daughter, and turned to speak to her, but I found no 
one. I had hardly turned round, when my left shoulder 
was more strongly touched, and on turning my head a spirit- 
hand held out to me a box taken from a table at the other 
end of the room. I received it with emotion, and as a pre- 
cious gift ; and the sweet hand that gave it was placed on 
my shoulder with a loving pressure. The spirit of A — G — 
then showed his hand, touched his sister with it, and played 
on the accordion, which by degrees was moved up in Mr. 
Home's hand over his head, the knocks at the same time 
beating measure, like a drum, very loudly on the table. The 
accordion was finally taken entirely away by the spirits, who 
played on it at a distance from us, the drumming continuing 
all the time on the table, whilst another drum accompanied 
it from the other side of the room. As soon as this ceased 
the table rose up in the air, and floated away from us high 
above our heads, passing over sofas and chairs in its way. 
We were naturally greatly interested at this wonderful ma- 
nifestation, and followed it into the darker part of the room, 
and here arose a scene of indescribable confusion, but still 
producing feelings in no way unpleasant, though we knew 
not when we touched each other, who were spirits, and who 
were fleshy human beings. The four cushions of the otto- 
man were virtually hurled in the air at once, and flew to 



RUSSIA, PABIS AND ENQLAKD. 149 

the other side of the room. In answer to a remark made, a 
hand came down on my head, as from a spirit floating above 
me, and pressed my forehead and stroked my hair. As we 
gathered round the table nine or ten chairs flew up like 
lightning, one behind each of us ; the chair next to me was 
empty (to the sight), but when I tried to move it I could 
not do so, it appeared as if nailed to the ground, and by 
raps we were told that L — sat there. The united strength 
of several could not move this chair. The heavy sofa on 
which Q — sat was moved suddenly to the other end of the 
room, and the spirit of her brother placed his hand in her's, 
and held it for several minutes. Before leaving her he gave 
a most touching manifestation. He blessed her by making 
the sign of the cross on her forehead. He then came to me 
and did the same. During these manifestations almost 
every article of furniture in the room was moved out of its 
place." 

My dearly valued friend, Mr. Wason, who after twenty- 
nine years of outer scepticism, takes pride in dating his new 
birth to the belief of a spiritual life and a spiritual philoso- 
phy, from his observations of the phenomena which he 
witnessed in my presence, wrote at this time the interesting 
letter which I now give. 

'' In July, 1860, I was at a stance at the mansion of a 
person of distinction, in Hyde Park Terrace, London. 

" Two baronets — one an M.P., and the other the heir and 
representative of a deceased M.P. of eminent ability ; the 
wife of a distinguished living M.P. ; and others, including 
Mr. Home, making eight in number present. The hour 
was a little after nine, p.m. Neither of the three first- 
named parties had ever seen any spirit manifestations, and 
were evidently sceptics : the rest of the party were mediums 
of greater or less power, and seemed as much interested in 
watching the effects of the spirit manifestations on the three 
new comers, as in the manifestations themselves. We all 
made a circle round a heavy loo table, capable of seating 
nine persons comfortably (crinoline included). It was covered 



150 RUSSIA, FASIS AND ENGLAND. 

with an ordinary damask cloth, ( a powerful non-conductor 
of electricity, completely negativing the theory that spirit 
manifestations were brought about by electricity) ; and we 
were desired by Mr. Home to chat and talk as naturally 
and cheerfully as we- could, and not to be too eager or ex- 
pectant of spirit manifestation, which he stated had a strong 
tendency to defeat the object. There were six lights burning 
in the room. The floor (a first floor) shook and trembled in 
a manner that all thought resembled the vibrations or 
tremulous motion on a small steamer's deck when the paddles 
are in full work : some said it more nearly resembled the 
tremulous motion on a screw steamer's deck, in which I con- 
curred. This tremulous motion ceased at intervals and was 
renewed, and this seemed to strike the new comers very 
forcibly; it was amusing to notice their startled looks, 
though they said but little beyond concurring in the obser- 
vations as to the tremulous movements. The walls also 
shook at times with a tremulous motion. The table, which 
was a very large and heavy one, was frequently lifted a few 
inches from the ground, and at last it rose from the ground 
at least three feet, and remained thus suspended 'twixt 
heaven and earth, like Mahomet's ooffin, for a minute or 
thereabouts, probably more than less. The gentlemen were 
invited by Mr. Home to ascertain if any machinery was 
underneath, and the two gentlemen who were new comers 
swept with their legs under the suspended table,.to catch any 
prop or other machinery that might be applied to raise the 
table, and they confessed that no such machinery or prop 
was present. 

" This stance, wonderful as it will appear — ' stranger than 
fiction' — was not considered to be an entirely successful one ; 
and the lady of tha house, with characteristic kindness, after 
speaking of the meagreness of the manifestations, invited me 
to another seance on the following evening, an invitation I 
most gladly accepted, although it kept me in London an 
extra day, and overthrew my previously arranged movements. 
At this second stance we met rather earlier, a little after 



BTJSSIA, PABIB AND ENQLAND. 151 

eight o'clock, p.m., in the same first-floor room. The 
seance consisted of a barrister of eminence and standing 
at the bar, and well known to the public, a literary man — an 
author of established reputation, and others to the number of 
eight ; all on this occasion being believers, except the author. 

" The same tremulous motion of the floor and walls as on 
the preceding evening, took place ; and the table was tilted 
and turned with even greater power than before, and rose 
perpendicularly from the floor, from three to four feet, and 
remained in this position suspended (Mahomet's coffin 
fashion) for about a minute, and then descended to. its 
original place as softly and gently as the fall of a snow flake. 
An accordion was played by an unseen hand, whilst it 
was held by one of the party present, and afterwards by my- 
self. I held it over the back of the chair on which I was 
sitting, using the back of the chair as a rest to my arm, thd 
accordion hanging over the back of the chair. I sat on the 
opposite side of the table to Mr. Home and the lady of the 
house. The accordion was also played whilst lying on the 
floor, and also on the table, and was lifted without visible 
means irom the floor on to the table. The music was of a 
solemn and impressive character. 

" A small spirit-hand, warm and soft like that of a child, 
touched my hand, and placed in it a small hand-bell, and, 
at my request, took the bell from my hand underneath the 
table to its mother, who was the lady of the house. She 
seemed perfectly satisfied that it was the spirit-hand of her 
little boy, who died three or four years since, aged about eight 
years, and she received repeated responses, spelt out through 
the alphabet, such as might be expected from the spirit of a 
deceased child to its mother. 

" The bell was carried to several of the parties present 
and placed in their hands ; and lastly, was elevated above 
our heads, and rung in mid-air, revolving round and touch- 
ing our heads (my own included). I could see the bell 
when it passed round my head opposite the window. I 
could see the bell occasionally as it passed between me and 



152 BU88IA, PABIS AKD EKOLAND. 

the window, the blinds of which had been drawn down bj 
invisible agency. Pieces of mignionette and geranium 
flowers were placed in mj hands by spirit hands, and inside 
mj waistcoat. I saw one of the hands distinctly, which, 
as it came between me and the window was distinctly 
visible, as the blinds did not altogether exclude the light of 
a simimer evening and of the gas lights in the street. 

" The curtains at last were drawn by invisible means, and 
then Mr. Home stated he was being lifted up in the air, 
and he crossed the table over the heads of the parties sitting 
around it. I asked him to make a mark with his pencil on 
the ceiling. He said he had no pencil. I rose up and said 
I would lend him mine, and by standing and stretching up- 
wards I was enabled to reach his hand, about seven feet 
distant from the floor, and I placed therein a pencil, and lay- 
ing hold and keeping hold of his hand, I moved along with 
him five or six paces as he floated above me in the air, and I 
only let go his hand when I stumbled against a stool. Mr. 
Home, as he floated along, kept ringing the small hand-bell 
to indicate his locality in the room, wj^ich was probably 
forty by thirty feet, and I saw his body eclipse two lines of 
light issuing from between the top of a door and its archi- 
trave — such door leading into an adjoining room that was 
brilliantly lighted. Mr. Home was replaced, as he stated, 
with the greatest care and gentleness in the chair from which 
he rose, but this I could not see. 

" Previously to Mr. Home's being raised up, the spirit- 
hands of two of the barrister's deceased children touched^ 
him. He did not doubt that the hands were the spirit- * 
hands of his children. 

'' Questions were asked, and rational answers given by 
means of the alphabet, in one of the ordinary ways of 
communicating with spirits. It is right that I should say, 
that this stance (as in the preceding evening) was com- 
menced with prayer, which I understood was the usual 
course. 

<< I make no comments on the above, and advance no theory 



BirSSIA, PABIS AND ENGLAND. 153 

or hypothesis. I have confined myself simply to facts, which 
I can substantiate by legal evidence in a court of justice ; and 
I add my name, address, and profession, and have only one 
desire, and that is — ^that truth may prevail. 

" I am. Sir, your obedient Servant, 
"James Wason, Solicitor. 
** Waaon BuildingB, Liverpool." 



164 



CHAPTEE IX. 

THE "COBNHILL" AND OTHEB NAEBATIVES. 

It was at this time that the manifestations occurred which 
are described with such accuracy and intelligence by the 
eminent literary friend who wrote his account of what he 
saw in the " Comhill Magazine," under the title of " Stranger 
than Fiction." This paper travels over nearly the whole 
ground of the physical manifestations, and is written with 
such masterly observation, and ability of description that I 
feel it win be a boon to the reader to have some few extracts 
from it. He commences by quoting : 

" The reply of Dr. Treviranus to inquiries put to him by 
Coleridge as to the reality of certain magnetic phenomena 
which that distinguished savant was reported to have wit- 
nessed. ' I have seen what I would not have believed on 
your fbstimony, and what I cannot, therefore, expect you to 
believe upon mine.' " 

For the information of Professor Faraday and other 
such persons who believe in his foolish theory of invol- 
untary muscular motion as being the cause of the phenomena, 
he says : " While we were seated at the table, we barely 
touched it with the tips of our fingers. I was anxious to 
satisfy myself with respect to the involuntary pressure which 
has been attributed to the imposition of hands. In this case 
there was none. My friends kindly gratified my request to 
avoid resting the slightest weight on the table; and we 
held our hands pointing downwards, with merely the nails 
touching the wood. Not only was this light contact inade- 

t 



THE "COBNHTLL" NARRATIVE. 155 

• 

quate to produce the violent evolutions that took place, but 
the evolutions were so irregular and perplexing, that we 
could not have produced them by premeditation. Presently, 
however, we had conclusive proofs that the vivacity of the 
table did not require any help from us. 

" Turning suddenly over on one side, it sunk to the floor. 
In this horizontal position it glided slowly towards a table 
which stood close to a large ottoman in the centre of the 
room. We had much trouble in following it, the apartment 
being crowded with furniture, and our difl&culty was consi- 
derably increased by being obliged to keep up with it in a 
stooping attitude. Part of the journey it performed alone, 
and we were never able to reach it at any time together. 
Using the leg of the large table as a fulcrum, it directed its 
claws towards the ottoman, which it attempted to ascend, 
by inserting one claw in the side, then turning half way 
round to make good another step, and so on. It slipped 
down at the first attempt, but again quietly resumed its 
task. It was exactly like a child trying to climb up a 
height. All this time we hardly touched it, being afraid of 
interfering with its movements, and, above all things, de- 
termined not to assist them. At last, by careful and per- 
severing efforts, it accomplished the top of the ottoman, 
and stood on the summit of the column in the centre, from 
whence ia a few minutes it descended to the floor by a simi- 
lar process." 

The writer makes the following pertinent reflection on 
what he has just described. " It is not to be expected that 
any person who is a stranger to these phenomena, should 
read such a story as this with complacency. Yet here is a 
fact which undoubtedly took place, and which cannot be re- 
ferred to any known physical or mechanical forces. It is 
not a sa.tisfactory answer to those who have seen such things, 
to say that they are impossible : since, in such cases, it is 
evident that the impossibility of a thing does not jprevent it 
hwpjpening. 

Upon many subsequent occasions the writer says that he 
has witnessed phenomena of a similar nature, and others of 



156 THE "cobmhtll" nabbatiye. 

a much more startling character. He tells us for instance, 
" When I saw a table, at which two ladies were seated, 
moving towards me without any adequate impulse being im- 
parted to it by visible means, I thought the fact sufficiently 
extraordinary ; but my wonder abated when, on subsequent 
occasions, I saw tables move apparently of their own volition, 
there being no persons near them ; large sofas advance 
from the walls against which they stood ; and chairs, some- 
times occupied, and sometimes empty, shift their places for 
the distance of a foot or a yard, in some cases easily, and in 
others with a slow, laborious movement." 

As to the peculiar trembling of the table and room, 
he says, "On the first occasion when I experienced the 
eflfect I am about to describe, there were five persons in 
the room. In other places, where it occurred subsequently, 
there were seven or more. The architecture of the houses 
in ea^h case was wholly dissimilar, both as to the area and 
height of the apartments, and the age, size, and strength of 
the buildings. We were seated at a table at which some 
singular phenomena, accompanied by loud knocks on the 
walls and floor, had just occurred, when we became con- 
scious of a strange vibration that palpitated through the 
entire room. We listened and watched attentively. The 
vibration grew stronger and stronger. It was palpably 
under our feet. Our chairs shook, and the floor trembled 
violently. The effect was exactly like the throbbing and 
heaving which might be supposed to take place in a house in 
the tropics during the moment immediately preceding an 
earthquake. This violent motion continued for two or three 
minutes, then gradually subsided and ceased. Every person 
present was equally affected by it on each occasion when it 
occurred. To produce such a result by machinery might be 
possible if the introduction of the machinery itself were 
possible. But the supposition involves a difficulty somewhat 
similar to that of Mr. Knickerbocker's theory of the earth 
standing on the back of a tortoise, which might be an ex- 
cellent theory if we could only ascertain what the tortoise 
stood upon." 



THE " COBNHILL " NABBATIVB. 



167 



He now speaks of the raising of the table altogether from 
the floor, which he repeatedly witnessed. " Presently the 
table rises with a slight jerk, and steadily mounts till it 
attains such a height as to render it necessary for the com- 
pany to stand up, in order still to be able to keep their 
hands with ease in contact with the surface, although that is 
not absolutely necessary. As there are some present who 
have not witnessed this movement before, a desire is ex- 
pressed to examine the floor, and a gentleman goes under 
the table for the purpose. The whole space, open to the 
view of the entire party, is clear. From the carpet to the 
foot of the table there is a blank interval of perhaps two 
feet, perhaps three, — for nobody has thought of providing a 
means of measuring it, and we must take it by guess. The 
carpet is examined, and the legs and under surface of the 
table are explored, but without result. There is no trace of 
any connection between the floor and the table ; nor can it 
be conceived how there could be any, as the table had shifted 
to this spot from the place where it originally stood only a 
few minutes before. The inspection is hurried and brief, 
but comprehensive enough to satisfy us that the table has 
not been raised by mechanical means from below ; and such 
means could not be applied from above without the means 
of immediate detection. In its ascent, the table has swung 
out of its orbit, but it readjusts itself before it begins to 
descend, and, resuming its vertical position, it comes down 
on the spot from whence it rose. The downward motion is " 
slow, and, if I may use the expression, graceful; and the 
table reaches the ground with a dreamy softness that renders 
its touch almost imperceptible. 

" Of a somewhat similar character is another movement, in 
some respects more curious, and certainly opening a stranger 
field for speculation. The table rears itself up on one side, 
tmtil the surface forms an inclined plane, at an angle of 
about 45^. In this attitude it stops. According to ordinary 
experience everything on the table must slide off, or topple 
over ; but nothing stirs. The vase of flowers, the books, the 
little ornaments are as motionless as if they were fixed in 



158 THE " COBNHILL " NABBATIVB. 

their places. We agree to take away our hands, to throw 
up the ends of the cover, so as to leave the entire round 
pillar and claws exposed, and to remove our chairs to a little 
distance, that we may have a more complete command of a 
phenomenon, which, in its marvellous development at least, 
is, I believe, new to us all. Our withdrawal makes no 
difference whatever ; and now we see distinctly on all sides 
the precise pose of the table, which looks, like the Tower of 
Pisa, as if it must inevitably tumble over. With a view to 
urge the investigation as far as it can be carried, a wish is 
whispered for a still more conclusive display of the power by 
which this extrordinary result has been accomplished. The 
desire is at once complied with. The table leans more and 
more out of the perpendicular ; two of the three claws are ' 
high above the ground; and finally, the whole structure 
stands on the extreme tip of a single claw, fearfully over- 
balanced, but maintaining itself as steadily as if it were all 
one solid mass, instead of being freighted with a number of 
loose articles, and as if the position had been planned in 
strict accordance with the laws of equilibrium and attraction, 
instead of involving an inexplicable violation of both." 

Of the music from an accordion playing by itself on the 
floor, he says : — " Apart from the wonderful consideration of 
its being played without hands — no less wonderful was the 
fact of its being played in a narrow space which would not 
admit of its being drawn out with the requisite freedom to 

' its full extent. We listened with suspended breath. The 
air was wild, and full of strange transitions ; with a wail of 
the most pathetic sweetness running through it. The execu- 
tion was no less remarkable for its delicacy than its power. 
When the notes swelled in some of the bold passages, thd 
sound rolled through the room with an astounding rever- 
beration ; then, gently subsiding, sank into a strain of divine 
tenderness. But it was the close that touched the hearts, 
and drew the tears of the listeners. Milton dreamt of this 
wondrous termination when he wrote of 'linkM sweetness 
long drawn out.' By what art the accordion was made to 

yield that dying note^ let practical musicians determine. Our 



THE "CORNHILl" NASBi&tVI!. 159 

ears, that beard it, had never before been visited by a * sound 
so fine/ It continued diminishing and diminishing, and 
stretching far away into distance and darkness, until the 
attenuated thread of sound became so exquisite that it was 
impossible at last to fix the moment when it ceased." 

The writer disposes of all question of fraud or mechanical 
contrivance, by telling us : — " We need not speculate on 
what might be done by skilful contrivances, since the ques- 
tion is removed out of the region of conjecture by the fact 
that, upon holding up the instrument myself in one hand, 
in the open room, with the full light upon it, similar strains 
were emitted, the regular action of the accordion going on 
without any visible agency. And I should add that, during 
the load and vehement passages, it became so difficult to 
hold, in consequence of the extraordinary power with which 
it was played from below, that I was obliged to grasp the 
top with both hands. This experience was not a solitary 
one. I witnessed the same result on different occasions, 
when the instrument was held by others." 

He also several times was present when I was raised from 
the ground ; and he gives the following description of what 
he observed : — " Mr. Home was seated next to the window. 
Through the semi-darkness his head was dimly visible against 
the curtains, and his hands might be seen in a faint white 
heap before him. Presently, he said, in a quiet voice, * My 
chair is moving — ^I am off the ground — don't notice me — 
talk of something else,' or words to that effect. It was very 
difficult to restrain the curiosity, not unmixed with a more 
serious feeling, which these few words awakened ; but we 
talked, incoherently enough, upon some indifferent topic. I 
was sitting nearly opposite to Mr. Home, and I saw his 
hands disappear from the table, and his head vanish into 
the deep shadow beyond. In a moment or two more he 
spoke again. This time his voice was in the air above our 
heads. He had risen from his chair to a height of four or 
fivje feet from the ground. As he ascended higher he de- 
scribed his position, as at first perpendicular, and after- 
wards horizontal. He said he felt as if he had been turned 



160 THE '^ COBNHILL " NABBATITE. 

in the gentlest manner, as a child is turned in the arms of a 
nurse. In a moment or two more, lie told ns that he was 
going to pass across the window, against the gray, silvery 
light of which he would be visible. We watched in profound 
stillness, and saw his figure pass from one side of the window 
to the other, feet foremost, lying horizontally in the air. He 
spoke to us as he passed, and told us that he would turn the 
reverse way, and recross the window ; which he did. His ' 

own tranquil confidence in the safety of what seemed from 
below a situation of the most novel peril, gave confidence to | 

everybody else; but, with the strongest nei-ves, it was im- 
possible not to be conscious of a certain sensation of fear or 
awe. He hovered round the circle for several minutes, and 
passed, this time perpendicularly, over our heads. I heard ■ 

his voice behind me in the air, and felt something lightly 
brush my chair. It was his foot, which he gave me leave to I 

touch. Turning to the spot where it was on the top of the I 

chair, I placed my hand gently upon it, when he uttered a I 

cry of pain, and the foot was withdrawn quickly, with a 
palpable shudder. It was evidently not resting on the chair, 
but floating ; and it sprang from the touch as a bird would. 
He now passed over to the farthest extremity of the room, 
and we could judge by his voice of the altitude and distance 
he had attained. He had reached the ceiling, upon which 
he made a slight mark, and soon afterwards descended and 
resumed his plsuse at the table. An incident which occurred 
during this'adrial passage, and imparted a strange solemnity 
to it, was that the accordion, which we supposed to be on 
the ground under the window close to us, played a strain of 
wild pathos in the air from the most distant corner in the 
room." 

A most able, quiet, and philosophical description of these 
and others of the phenomena which he witnessed^ is closed 
by some remarks which it is too much to hope that many 
will profit from. There is so much unreasoning opposition 
to the £Ekcts, that an appeal to reason in fieivour of them is 
almost out of place. He says : — " To say that certain phe- 
nomena are incrediblei is merely to say that they are incon- 



THE " COBNHILL" MAGAZINE. 161 

Bistent with the present state of our knowledge ; but knowing 
how imperfect our knowledge is, we are not, therefore, justified 
in asserting that they are impossible. The * failures * which 
have occurred at seances are urged as proofs that the whole 
thing is a cheat. If such an argument be worth noticing, it 
is sufficient to say that ten thousand failures do not disprove 
a single fact. But it must be evident that as we do not 
know the conditions of * success,' we cannot draw any argu- 
ment from * failures.* We often hear people say that they 
might believe such a thing, if such another thing were to 
happen ; making assent to a particular fact, by an odd sort 
of logic, depend upon the occurrence of something else. * I 
will believe,' for example, says a philosopher, of this stamp, 
* that a table has risen from the ground, when I see the 
lamp-posts dancing quadrilles. Then, tables? Why do 
these things happen to tables?' Why, that is one of the 
very matters which it is desirable to investigate, but which 
we shall never know anything about so long as we ignore 
inquiry. And, above all, of what use are these wonderful 
manifestations ? What do they prove ? What benefit have 
they conferred on the world ? Sir John Herschel has an- 
swered these questions with a weight of authority which is 
final. * The question, Cui bono ? to what practical end and > 
advantages do your researches tend? — is one which the 
speculative philosopher, who loves knowledge for its own 
sake, and enjoys, as a rational being should enjoy, the mere » 
contemplation of harmonious and mutually depeadent truths, 
can seldom hear without a sense of humiliation. He feels 
that there is a lofty and disinterested pleasure in his specu- 
lations, which ought to exempt them from such questioning. 
' But,' adds Sir John, * if he can bring himself to descend 
from this high but fair ground, and justify himself, his 
pursuits, and his pleasures in the eyes of those around him, 
he has only to point to the history of all science, where 
speculations, apparently the most unprofitable, have almost 
invariably been those from which the greatest practical ap- 
plications have emanated.'* 

* Preliminary Disooune on the Stady of Natural Philosophy, p, 10. 

JC 



162 DE. gully's letter. 

" The first thing to be done is to collect and verify facts. 
But this can never be done if we insist upon refusing to 
receive any facts, except such as shall appear to us likely to 
be true, according to the measure of our intelligence and 
knowledge." 

This article was received by the public in the only way which 
was likely, from the novelty to so many of the subject of the 
phenomena ; and though those who were acquainted personally 
with the marvellous occurrences so well described in the 
Magazine, well knew their truth, yet the writer and the 
Editor of the "CornhiU" were severely blamed by many for 
allowing the appearance of what they designated as such 
absurdity. As the article was anonymous, the facts stated 
in it were deliberately denied by the press, and to stem the 
torrent of abuse and unbelief, a gentleman, who has since 
become my very esteemed friend, wrote, giving his name, 
the following letter, which is introduced by some prefatory 
remarks, in the " Spiritual Magazine." The letter of Dr. 
Gully, of Malvern, first appeared in the." Morning Star," 
which of all the London papers has been the most fair and 
candid in dealing with the faets of Spiritualism : — 

" Sir, — In Mr. Coleman's letter of the 11th inst., he gives 
his opinion that the gentlemen who were present at the 
meetings recorded in the ' Comhill Magazine,* under the 
head of * Stranger than Fiction,' should confirm or confute 
the statements made in that article. I was one of the per- 
sons present at the evening meeting. The other gentlemen 
were a solicitor in extensive practice, and two well-known 
writers of solid instructive works — not writers of fiction — 
who, by-the-bye, appear to be so used to inventing that they 
cannot believe that any one can possibly be employed in 
stating facts. It will be seen that the joke about * fools of 
fashion ' does not apply to the gentlemen alluded to, but that 
we were all workers in callings in which matters of fact, and 
not of fancy, especially come under observation. Further, it 
may be useful to some persons to know that we were neither 
asleep, nor intoxicated, nor even excited. We were complete 
masters of our senses ; and I submit that their evidence is 



DB. aULLY's LETTEB. 163 

worth a thousand conjectures and explanations made bj 
those who were not present. Scores of times I have been 
much more agitated and excited in investigating a patient's 
case, than I ^s in observing what occurred at the evening 
meeting in question. 

" With this state of senses at the time, and revolving the 
occurrences in my mind again and again, since that time, I 
can state with the greatest positiveness that the record made 
in the article, * Stranger than Fiction,* is, in every particular, 
correct ; that the phenomena therein related actually took 
place in the evening meeting ; and, moreover, that no trick, 
machinery, sleight-of-hand, or other artistic contrivance pro- 
duced what we heard and beheld. I am quite as convinced 
of this last as I am of the facts themselves. 

" Only consider that here is a man, between ten and 
eleven stone in weight, floating about the room for many 
minutes — in the tomb-like silence which prevailed, broken 
only by his voice coming from different quarters of the room, 
according to his then position — ^is it probable, is it possible, 
that any machinery could be devised — not to speak of its 
being set up and previously made ready in a room, which 
was fixed upon as the place of meeting only five minutes 
before we entered it — capable of carrying such a weight 
about without the slightest sound of any description ? Or 
suppose, as has been suggested, that he bestrode an inflated 
balloon, could a balloon have been introduced inflated large 
enough to hold in mid-air such a weight ? Or could it have 
been inflated with hydrogen gas without being detected by 
ears, eyes, or nose ? 

** It seems to me a much stronger sign of credulity fo 
believe either of these suggestions, with our present know- 
ledge, than to adopt the wildest statements or dreams of 
what is called Spiritualism. Let it be remembered, more- 
over, that the room was, for a good part of the evening, in a 
blaze of light, in which no balloon or other machine sufficient 
for the supposed purpose could be introduced ; or, if already 
introduced, could remain unobserved ; and that, even when 
the room was comparatively darkened, light streamed through 

M 2 



164 DR. gully's letter. 

the window from a distant gas-lamp outside, between which 
gas-lamp and our eyes Mr. Home's form passed, so that we 
distinctly perceived its trunk and limbs ; and most assuredly 
there was no balloon near him, nor any machinery attached 
to him. His foot once touched my head when he was 
floating above. 

" Then the accordion music. I distinctly saw the instru- 
ment moving, and heard it playing when held only at one 
end, again and again. I held it myseK for a short time, and 
had good reason to know that it was vehemently pulled at 
the other end, and not by Mr. Home's toes, as has been 
wisely surmised, unless that gentleman has legs three yards 
long, with toes at the end of them quite as marvellous as 
any legion of spirits. For, be it stated, that such music as 
we heard was no ordinary strain ; it was grand at times, at 
others pathetic, at others distant and long-drawn, to a 
degree which no one can imagine who has not heard it. I 
have heard Blagrove repeatedly, but it is no libel on that 
master of the instrument to say that he never did produce 
such exquisite distant and echo notes as those which de- 
lighted our ears. The instrument played, too, at distant 
parts of the room, many yards away from Mr. Home, and 
from all of us. I believe I am stating a fact when I say 
that not one person in that room could play the accordion at 
all. Mr. Home cannot play a note upon it. 

" To one whose external senses have witnessed these things, 
it is hard to increase the insufficiency of those attempted ex- 
planations which assert the use of tricks and machinery. 
As I said before, it requires much more credulity to believe 
such explanations than to swallow aJl the ghost stories that 
ever were related. I may add that the writer in the * Corn- 
hill Magazine* omits to mention several curious phenomena 
which were witnessed that evening. Here is one of them. 
A distinguished litterateur, who was present, asked the sup- 
posed spirit of his father, whether he would play his fa- 
vourite ballad for us, and, addressing us, he added — ' The 
accordion was not invented at the time of my father's death, 
so I cannot conceive how it will be effected ; but if his 



DB. GTJLL'S'S LETTER. 165 

favourite air is not played, I pledge myself to tell you so.* 
Almost immediately the flute notes of the accordion (which 
was upon the floor) played through * Te banks and braes 
of Bonnie Doon,' which the gentleman alluded to assured 
us was his father's favourite air, whilst the flute was his 
father's favourite instrument. He then asked for another 
favourite air of his father's, ' which was not Scotch,' and 
*The Last Rose of Summer* was played in the same note. 
This, the gentleman told us, was the air to which he had 
alluded. 

" I have thus borne testimony to the truthfulness of the 
facts related by the writer in the * Cornhill Magazine,' whom I 
recognise as having been my neighbour during the meeting. 
And I have endeavoured to show that, as regards the prin- 
cipal and most wonderful phenomena, there could have been 
no contrivance by trick or machinery adequate to produce or 
account for their existence. How, then, were they pro- 
duced ? I know not ; and I believe that we are very — ^very 
far from having accumulated facts enough upon which to 
frame any laws or build any theory regarding the agent at 
work in their production. Intelligent phenomena, such as 
the music played at request, point to intelligent agents ; and 
spiritual bodies that have quitted fleshly bodies may be at 
work. I, for one, wish that it were proved to be so ; for a 
more solemn discovery than that of a means of communica- 
tion between embodied and disembodied sentient beings 
cannot be imagined. It giddies the brain to think of the 
possible result of such a discovery. But, whilst I obsti- 
nately stand up for the integrity of my senses during my 
observation of the wonders above related, my inner senses 
cannot but observe many gaps that must be filled up before 
the bridge between the spiritual body's life here in the flesh, 
and its life elsewhere out of the flesh, can be finished. 
Meantime the facts must be patiently and honestly accumu- 
lated, and enthusiasm must be banished from the minds of 
the enquirers. And as regards the denials, and abuses, and 
jests of the non-enquirers, let it be remembered that scuril- 



166 DB. gully's letter. 

lity and laughter never discoyered or disproved anything 
in the world's history. 

" Eespecting the purely physical phenomena, such as the 
raising of weights whether of human bodies or tables, it 
may he that we are on the verge of discovering some physi- 
cal force hitherto undreamed of ; who shall say that we know 
all the powers of nature ? Here, too, dispassionate inquiry 
must go on, regardless of the noise outside ; regardless, too, 
of the ignorant and malicious prejudice which would blast 
the reputation of those who enquire in a direction opposite 
to that prejudice. 

" Enquirers, unlike routine people, must be prepared to 
rough it among their fellow-creatures. And I suppose that 
I, for having asserted that I have five senses as yet unim- 
paired, and for having testified to what the majority dis- 
believe, shall come in for my share of pity or abuse. Let 
it be so, if it helps on a truthful search. 
" I am, Sir, 

« Tours faithftdly, 

"J. M. Gully, M.D. 

"Malvern, Oct. 14." 



167 



CHAPTEE X. 

MIBACTILOUS PBESEBVATION. FRANCE AND ENGLAND. 

We left London the 24tli of July, 1860, for the Chateau 
de C , near Paris. One of the most remarkable inter- 
positions of Providence which have ever happened to me 
occurred at this place. Many doubt the possibility of such 
interpositions, but 1 have not been allowed to doubt them, 
and I have to thank our Heavenly Father that I have so 
often been made aware of His ministering care and kind 
Providence. I do not suppose for a moment because of this, 
that His Providence is more over me than over all His chil- 
dren, and I believe that in looking back over our past lives, 
there are none of us who can fail to recognise the finger of 
God directing and protecting them, often in some remarkable 
and even almost physical way, though generally, perhaps, 
through means apparently more remote than those which 
saved my life on the 16th September, 1860. 

I had just returned ft'om Naples, whither I had been to 
visit a friend — ^but who had passed from earth before I had 
arrived — and I found my health affected by fatigue of 
travelling and mental depression. Being recommended to 
take much out-door exercise, during my stay at the Chateau 



168 MISACTJLOrS PSESEBTATIOK. 

de C , I used to take with me my gun — more tliat it 

might be said I was out shooting than for any great attrac- 
tion the sport has for me. The Chateau de C- — , distant 
half-an-hour by railway from Paris, stands in a beautiM old 
park. Some of the trees are of very great height ; one of 
the largest, a northern poplar, stands a quarter of a mile 
from the chateau at an angle of the park, where it is sepa- 
rated from the outer grounds by a hedge. To this spot, 
when there is much shooting going on in the neighbourhood, 
the game used to come for shelter ; and I, who am but an 
indifferent marksman, could get easy shots by planting my- 
self by the hedge. 

On the day mentioned, I had been walking with my 

friend, Mons. T , and on his leaving me, I bent my steps 

to this favourite corner, wishing to take home a partridge. 
As I neared the hedge, I stooped and advanced cautiously. 
When close up to it, I was raising my head to look for my 
game, when on my right I heard some one call out, " Here, 
here !" My only feeling was surprise at being thus suddenly 
addressed in English. The desire to have a good look out for 
my game, overruled my curiosity as to whom the exclama- 
tion had come from, and I was continuing to raise my head 
to the level of the hedge, when suddenly I was seized by 
the collar of my coat and vest, and lifted off the ground. At 
the same instaiit I heard a crashing sound, and then all was 
quiet. I felt neither fear nor wonder. My first thought 
was that by some accident my gun had exploded, and that I 
was in the spirit-land ; but, looking about, I saw that I was 
still in the material world, and there was the gun still in 
my hands. My attention was then drawn to what appeared 
to be a tree immediately before me, where no tree had been. 
On examina<tion, this proved to be the fallen limb of the 
high tree under which I was standing. I then saw that I 
had been drawn aside from this fallen limb a distance of six 
or seven feet. I ran, in my excitement, as fast as I could 
to the chateau. My friends, seeing me running, hastened 
to the window to learn the cause of my disturbance. As 



MIRACULOUS PEB8EBVATI0N. 169 

soon as I recovered my power of speech, I told them how 
God, by his good angels, had saved my life, and they re- 
turned with me to the scene of what I must call my miracu- 
lous escape. 

I will not attempt to portray the feelings of those present, 
but if ever heartfelt prayer of thankfulness ascended to 
God's holy throne, it was then and there, from us all, even 
to the servants, who broke off twigs to keep as mementos of 
the mercy shown me. 

The limb which had thus fallen, measured sixteen yards 
and a half in length, and where it had broken from the 
trunk, it was one yard in circumference. It fell from a 
height of forty-five feet. The part of the limb, which 
struck the very spot where I had been standing, measured 
twenty-four inches in circumference, and penetrated the earth 
at least a foot. The next day a friend made a sketch of the 
tree and branch. We now speculated as to how it could have 
happened. The tree is not a dead one, nor was the branch 
at all decayed, and there was scarcely wind enough to stir the 
leaves. The branch was so cleanly reft from the trunk that 
one might at first think it had been sawn off, and the bark 
was not in the least torn about it. I have been informed 
since that such accidents are not uncommon with trees of 
this species of poplar, and that there are trees of a similar 
quality in Australia, under which settlers will not remain 
for fear of such sudden breakages. 

A day or two after. Dr. Hoefer, one of the most learned 
men in France, and for whom I have the highest esteem 
and regard, as a sincere truth-seeker, and a friend deserving 
every confidence, came at about noon and requested a 
stance. We had one, and a very good one it was. Answers 
were given to questions of the utmost importance. All at 
once, it was spelled out, " Go, see the branch." Dr. Hoefer, 
impressed as it were, withdrew from the table, saying, 
" Perhaps they are going there." I went to the drawing- 
room, and asked the ladies if they would join us, but the 
day being damp and the walking bad, they declined. 



170 MIBACULOUS PBESEBYATION. 

I ought to liave said, tliat the thick end of the branch 
rested, at a height of eight feet from the ground, firmly 
against the trunk of the tree, so much so that the possibility 
of its coming down had never for an instant occurred to us, 
but rather that the strength of several horses should be re- 
quired to move it. Our surprise, then, may be imagined 
when we now found that it had been moved three or four 
inches laterally from its original point of support. Dr. 
Hoefer said, " I firmly believe that the branch will be pushed 
down before us." I replied, " That seems almost an impos- 
sibility." At the same time, I took in my hand one of the 
smaller twigs and mentally said, "Dear spirits, will you 
push this branch down ?" I then distinctly felt as if some 
one gently touched the twig which I held ; this was re- 
peated, and at the third touch, as it felt to me, the branch 
fell to the ground. 

Four persons witnessed this, and are ready to testify to 
what I here relate. 

I had afterwards a piece of the thickest part of the fallen 
tree sawn off, and sent to me in London, where it still is, 
and with it on many occasions, some of which will be after- 
wards mentioned, some very marvellous manifestations took 
place. 

One evening, at the chateau, as we were seated at the table, 
the spirits having requested that the candles should be extin- 
guished, the table drawn to the window, and the curtains 
opened to admit the moonlight, there had been some striking 
manifestations, and the time had been passing almost imper- 
ceptibly to us all, when a gentleman who was present, said 
that he felt very much exhausted, and he asked for a glass of 
brandy and water. It was brought, and he took it in his 
hand, and was about raising it to his mouth, when a spirit 
hand suddenly appeared, took hold of the lower part of the 
glass, and disappeared with it under the table. We laugh- 
ingly said that our unseen friends surely did not believe in 
the use of stimulants. To this they assented by emphatic 
raps, and at the same moment the glass slowly rose again 
before him empty. The windows being closed, we supposed 



BEMASKABLE INCIDENT. 



171 



the water liad been thrown upon the floor, and we arose to 
see where it was. We could discover no trace of it. About 
two minutes had elapsed, when the same glass which was 
standing empty before him, was seen without any visible 
cause, gradually to approach the edge of the table, and to dis- 
appear beneath it. I do not believe that above two seconds 
could have elapsed, before it again appeared with the brandy 
and water in it, apparently not less in quantity than when 
first brought in, though the quality had certainly undergone 
some chemical change, as it had now lost much of its brown 
colour. By the raps, a warning was given to all of us 
against such indulgence. 

In September we left the chateau to spend a month in 
Paris, and we paid a short visit to our relatives at Biarritz, 
returning to England at the end of November, 1861. My 
wife's health being delicate, the medical men having dis- 
covered an internal disease, which, though of a serious 
nature, might yet last for many years, we did not during 
this winter see so many friends, but I had stances as often 
as I could. * 

From an esteemed friend, who had been rescued from 
scepticism by the manifestations of spirit power which he 
had so offcen witnessed, I find a letter describing what he 
saw in London at this time. 

' " Seven of us were present in a large drawing-room, 
lighted by a good fire and three gas-burners. The accordion 
was taken by one of our friends who had never been present 
at any manifestations, and in his hands it was forcibly 
pulled, and several chords played — ^in my hand also the same 
was done ; but the weight of the instrument made the hold- 
ing of it painful to me. We then began to be touched ; and 
I felt a soft body passing across my knees. A gentleman 
and I wishing our hands to be grasped by a spirit, placed 
our handkerchiefs over our hands, in a single fold. Shortly, 
the handkerchief was taken off by what seemed to me like 
air fingers — so gentle, so soft. It was carried to the gentle- 
man opposite, and by him received and handed to me ; the 
Other was restored to the owner tied into a curious knot. All 



1?2 



OTHER TESTIMONIES. 



other hands were on the table during the whole of the time* 
Two of the three gas-lights were now put out — and the fire 
burning brightly, gave a subdued light in the room. Mr. 
Home then became cataleptic in his hands and arms : he was 
raised from his seat till he stood upright, and then he rose 
vertically till he was a foot above the floor — ^his head level 
with the chandelier — ^this was repeated twice, but he did not 
rise higher. On sitting down again, the table-cloth was 
several times raised up in different parts of the table, and, I 
with others, placed my hand on the substance which so raised 
it, and to my sense of feeling, it was as if a plastic hand 
and fingers touched mine, yielding to my pressure. During 
our conversations, approval or disapproval of some things 
said were given by energetic concussions. The loudest 
affirmatives were when it was said these manifestations were 
by God's permission, to prove to us the continued existence of 
our relatives, and of our immortality ; also that we could not 
be alone, as there were ever about us unseen active intelli- 
gences, who saw our actions, heard our words, and discerned 
our thoughts. * 

" The lady who was with me had laughed and wondered 
at my foolishness for these several years past for believing in 
spirit-power manifestations; but now, wonder, joyousness, 
and belief took possession of her, and the candid avowal of 
her conviction, and the consequences to certain materialistic 
members of her family, seemed to be producing a powerful 
effect upon her mind. 

" What is the use of spirits descending to the level of our 
educational obtuseness, and producing the class of phenomena 
detailed in this rough sketch P The question is answered by 
my giving a portion of a letter received on the 6th of this 
month from one of our literary celebrities, whose name has 
not yet been prominently before the public in connection 
with spirit manifestations. Having sent to the editors of 
the daily and weekly newspapers and magazines a printed 
letter on spirit manifestations^ I had a reply from one of the 
editors, who says : — 

" * I know all you have stated, and more — ^I have seen and* 



K». HUTCHINSON. 173 

felt all you liave stated, and more. I believe I am no ' fool ' 
— ^I am sure I am no * rogue.' To me the belief has been an 
unspeakable comfort, thoroughly taking me away from that 
materialism into which I had crept : and I believe that to be 
the main purpose of spiritual teaching, and the reason why 
the great principle is developed in our time.' 

" I have had the same testimony given to me by many 
others. 

**J0HN JONES. 
«*Basinghall Street, 14th January, 1861." 

The important testimony of my friend Mr. James Hut- 
chinson, for many years the chairman of the Stock Exchange, 
is one to which I would draw attention, as it appears from 
his well-known character and sagacity, to be just such as 
ought to be received as conclusive evidence of what he relates. 
Mr. Hutchinson says : — 

" I have for some time past felt an interest in the subject 
of Spiritual Manifestations. Like paost persons I had great 
difficulty in realising the statements made to me of the 
wonders which were daily witnessed by others, but the 
evidence of friends satisfied me that there must be some- 
thing worthy of serious investigation, and I therefore deter- 
mined to te.ke every opportimity of looking into it for 
myself. I have now done so, and I feel it a duty to openly 
bear my testimony to the facts, leaving others to theoiiae on 
the causes and tendency of these remarkable phenomena. 

" Recently introduced by a friend to Mr. D. D. Hom,e, a 
stance was arranged for the '23rd instant, and together with 
Mr. and Mrs. Coleman, Mr. G. S. Clarke, Mr. T. Clarke, Mr. 
Gilbert Davidson, and another lady and gentleman unknown 
to me, we formed a party of nine. Shortly after sitting down, 
we all felt a tremulous motion in our chairs, and in the table, 
which was a very heavy circular drawing-room table. This 
movement of the table increased in power, and at the 
suggestion of Mr. Coleman, it imitated the exact action and 
sound of a stroke of a powerful marine engine acting on and 
vibrating the timbers of a weak-framed vesseL 



174 ME. HUTCHINSON. 

" The rapping sounds on the table and floor were con- 
stant ; the heavy table was raised up repeatedly — and these 
manifestations were continued whilst my friend, Mr. Clarke, 
and another were seated, at the request of Mr. Home, under 
the table. 

" Two hand-bells, one weighing at least a pound and a 
half, were passed from one to another of the party by the 
unseen agencies. All of us in turn felt the touch and 
pressure of a soft and fleshy life-like hand. I saw the full 
formed hand as it rested on my knee. The accordion, whilst 
held by Mr. Home in one hand, discoursed most eloquent 
music, and then to our great astonishment it was taken from 
him, and whilst both his hands and those of all of the party 
were visibly imposed on the surface of the table — the accor- 
dion, suspended from the centre of the table, gave out an ex- 
quisite air, no human hand touching it 1 

" These and many other incidents of a seriously impressive 
but private character, of which I do not hesitate to speak 
among my friends, occupied about four hours of what I must 
admit to be one of the most interesting evenings I have ever 
spent. I place the facts as we witnessed them at your 
disposal for publicity, if you please, merely adding, that 
contrary to the assertions so constantly made that the 
manifestations are always in the dark, the whole of the 
phenomena of which I have spoken were manifested in a 
room lighted with gas, and a bright fire burning. 

" Tours, &c., 

"Jas. Hutchinson. 

"January 26th, 1861." 

The following editorial remarks, introducing the letter of 
" A Plain Man," appeared in the * Sunday Times,' of the 
17th February. The "Plain Man" is well-known to me, 
and I can personally vouch for his high character and intel- 
ligence, but he is in a position, which makes it a matter of 
prudence that it should not be known publicly that he has 
seen what he has seen. If science and religion are satisfied 
with this uncharitable state of things, I confess that I am 



A PLAIN MAN. 175 

not, and that I sigli for the days when every man and 
woman will be able to tell the truth without being robbed of 
their bread by the calumnies of those who are simply unin- 
formed as to the facts which are observed. The editor of 
the * Sunday Times/ says : — 

" In accordance with the pledge we made at the time 
when we inserted a notice of Mr. Novra's lecture, we hasten 
to give publicity to a letter which we have received, accom- 
panied by the name and address of the writer. From the 
high position which that gentleman holds, and the widely- 
admitted truthfulness of his assertions, we cannot do other- 
wise than believe that he personally saw all that he relates, 
and thus we are again thrown back on the sea of doubt — 
anxious to arrive at the truth, yet unable to do so. Fortu- 
nately, it is not our duty to decide, or even to give our 
opinion on such matters ; we, therefore, publish the letter 
hoping that if a certain enlightening spirit is granted, which 
may clear up the truth, that it may be shed upon us, or that 
if the whole thing is fictitious and imaginary, the delusion 
may soon be dissipated. Too much credulity on the one 
hand is contemptible. A blind obstinacy has often nearly 
marred the best revelations which Providence has vouchsafed 
to science. 

" To the Editor of the ' Sunday Times: 

'' Sir, — For some time I have been waiting for a favour- 
able opportunity to address you, and to state certain facts 
connected with Spiritualism, which clearly demonstrate the 
existence of what many persons seem determined to deny. 
Such sceptics, by their arguments, so far from doing any 
injury to the cause, have been the means of inducing many 
to enquire into the phenomena, who otherwise, in all pro- 
bability, would never have thought of doing so, and as a 
consequence, have converted them into thorough believers. 
Nine such cases have occurred at my own house. Again, 
throughout all the books and articles I have read, I never 
have found advanced one single argument against the jpom- 



176 A PLAIN MAN. 

hilUy of a commuBication with tlie spiritual world, but 
merely expositions of the tricks practised by some interested 
persons, thu# confirming those who were only half con- 
yinced, and enabling all who are fortunate enough to be 
present at a bond fide seance, more easily to distinguish be- 
tween reality and deceit. Clearly, such persons deserve the 
thanks of us all. The columns of a newspaper could not 
admit, nor have I the time to write, the many reasons to be 
adduced in favour of the probability of spiritual manifesta- 
tions ; all I ask of you is to insert a plain statement, from a 
plain man, of certain h^ts so striking, extraordinary, and 
convincing, that those wjio have seen them cannot fail to 
believe, and by which not only are the ideas of a man's 
lifetime upset, but the very laws of nature and gravitation 
as hitherto understood, appear to be scattered to the winds. 
"A few nights since, a party of seven, including Mr. 
Home and two ladies, assembled, en seance, round a heavy 
large circular table-. # "For a short time nothing extraordinary 
took place, but at length a convulsive throbbing was felt in 
the tabFe, which shortly began to move, undulating with an 
easy, graceful movement, and raising itself at times about a 
foot off the ground. At the same time there were knocks 
in quick succession under the table, on the floor, ceiling, and 
round the room, a gentleman being under the table at the 
time, at Mr. Home's request, to guard against the possi- 
bility of collusion. After some trivial communications, a 
small hand-bell was held by me under the table, and in a 
few minutes I perceived, on looking down, a small white 
hand (every other hand belonging to the party assembled, 
being on the table), which commenced caressing and playing 
with mine. After ringing the bell once or twice (in mj 
hand), I asked that it should be conveyed to a gentleman 
opposite, and no sooner was my wish expressed than I felt 
it pulled from my hand, and deposited in that of the gentle- 
man I had indicated. This was done several times. The 
hand was smooth and white as a child's, and was quite visi- 
ble, there being two gas jets burning in the room. An ac- 
cordion was held at the side of the table by Mr. Home, when 



A PLAIN MAN. 177 

the most lovely, plaintive, aaid melodious music was played, 
and no sooner had I expressed a wish to hear the ' Last 
Rose of Summer,' than that tune was played, at which mo- 
ment the accordion was resting on my feet, without a hand 
of earthly description near it, it having been taken out of 
Mr. Home's hand and deposited there. Several hands now 
appeared in quick succession moving different articles of fur- 
niture ; and one, a particularly powerful one, having touched 
Mr. Home, he exclaimed that enormous strength had been 
given him. It certainly had, and he proceeded at once to 
exercise it. A block of wood, from the large arm of the 
tree of great weight, from the falling of which he was so 
wonderfully preserved, was taken up by Mr. Home as if it 
were a straw, carried round the room under his arm, and 
finally deposited near the table. It seemed of no weight to 
him, and yet, when two gentlemen, each of them apparently 
much more powerful than Mr. Home, essayed, they could 
hardly move it A singular circumstanfcd connected with Mr. 
Home's receiving such extraordinary strength it is necessary 
to mention. One of the gentlemen present had lost a very 
dear friend in the late war in the Crimea, and who, prior to 
leaving this country, gave him his photograph. It was the 
only one he ever sat for, and after his decease the family asked 
for it to get it copied, but they had not returned it. On 
several occasions the spirit has manifested himself, and has 
constantly reproached this gentleman for having parted with 
it. On this evening a similar message was received, when 
he mentally asked for such a manifestation as would fully 
identify him with the departed friend. When in the world, 
he was a most powerful muscular man ; and to convince this 
gentleman it was he, who enabled Mr. Home, through him- 
self, to lift this mass of timber, which at another time he 
could not have moved. The last words spelt out were, * Get 
back a copy at least.' 

" Another hand now appeared : and on Mr. Home being 
touched by it, he exclaimed, * They are raising me ; do not 
look at me till I am above the level of the table, as it might 
have the effect of bringing me down,' Almost at the same 

N 



178 A PLAIN MAN. 

moment Mr. Home was raised up and floated in tbe air at 
tlie lieiglit of about five feet, touching one gentleman 
on the head slightly as he passed, but on approaching the 
window he came again gently to the ground. He remarked, 
* Their strength is hardly great enough yet, but I feel that it 
will be soon.' The table which for some time had remained 
passive, now began to heave and throb most violently, and 
finished by moving towards a sofa at the end of the room, 
obliging all sitting round to follow it. We had scarcely 
resumed our seats, when our attention was attracted by 
seeing a small table moTe across the room ; and finally, after 
much difficulty, raise itself, and stand in the centre of the 
large table round which we were sitting. * Less earthly 
light' was now spelt out, and the two gas-lights were 
turned down, leaving merely a bright blazing fire, which 
clearly illuminated the whole room. This was scarcely done, 
when a small baby's hand was seen creeping up a gentle- 
man's arm, and almost at the same time he perceived be- 
ween Mr. Home and himself the form of an infant in white. 
Being naturally very fond of children, he thought nothing 
of it, merely imagining that his inclinations were known ; 
but on his wife's asking if it was not the spirit of her little 
child now passed away, a timid answer in the affirmative 
was given — a bright light appearing close to the sofa at the 
same moment, which, by degrees, faded, and at last disap- 
peared. The small table, which it must be remembered was 
still upon the large one, now began to move, and at the same 
moment the same hand that before imparted such super- 
natural strength to Mr. Home was again seen grasping him. 
His arms were raised above his head, he was again lifted 
about two feet off the ground and carried towards the win- 
dow, and when there, he was raised to within about eighteen 
inches of the ceiling. After remaining floating for about 
two minutes he descended ; but on coming near his chair, 
he was again elevated, and placed in a standing position in 
the centre of the table, together with the small one. His 
weight not resting on it, it had no effect, nor was there even 
a creak heard. In about a minute both Mr. Home and the 



A PLAIN MAN. 179 

small table were elevated for a fourth time in the air, about 
a foot off the surface of the large table, and, after remaining 
in that position for about a minute, he descended and re- 
sumed his seat. 

" Such is a short account of this most remarkable and 
satisfactory stance. I need scarcely add that of necessity I 
have been compelled to omit many small details which, al- 
though interesting in themselves, sink into insignificance by 
the side of the wonderful manifestations above described. 
" I remain. Sir, 

" Tour obedient servant, 

" A Plain Man." 

By this time the health of my wife was failing, and she 
was sometimes confined to bed. One night the spirit of her 
mother came to us, and after making three crosses upon 
Sacha's brow, the hand being invisible but still perfectly tan-- 
gible, my wife said to me, " Oh, mama is blessing me, and I 
feel such a strange thrill of joy." I now felt the hand laid upon 
my brow, and again the present was obliterated from my 
mind, and I saw the being so dear to me as passing from earth. 
It was so terrible a reality that I would have given worlds 
to have felt that there could be even the slightest possibility 
of my having been deceived. Her mother told me that the 
disease which would cause her to pass from earth was not 
the one we had so dreaded, but would be, in fact, con- 
sumption. From that moment, every time our kind-hearted 
and experienced doctor came, I urged him to see whether or 
no he could detect the slightest change, as Indicating disease 
of the lungs; but he said, that though great weakness 
existed, still active disease was not going on, and he thought 
it might be avoided. As soon as the dear one could under- 
take the journey, we went to Bournemouth, where our 
friend, Mrs. P joined us, and we there found the symp- 
toms of lung-disease to have increased. Accordingly, a 
medical man was called in, who, with one of his colleagues, 
pronounced the left lung to be unsound. I was alone when 
they told me this ; and when I entered my wife's room, she 

N 2 



180 KS. cox's LETTES. 

wished to know what the result of their diagnosis had been. 
We had, when first married, promised to each other that if 
ever one knew the otiier to be seriously ill, we would not 
attempt to conceal it. Still I had never had the courage to 
tell her what her mother had revealed to me ; for to one so 
young, and whose life had everything to make it desirable, 
it seemed hard to think that a new existence so soon awaited 
her. I felt, however, that I must be true to my promise, 
and I told her what the doctors had said. She smiled, and 
said, "Do you think I can remain on earth ten days?" I 
told her that not only ten days, but that in reality, she 
might live ten years, but that still all was uncertain. She 
took my hand in hers, and said, " Do you remember, Daniel, 
when my mother blessed me a month ago, and I told you 
what a thrill of joy I felt ? Well, I feel that she is here 
now, and I feel a continuation of the self-same thrill. I am 
going to her, but God will not separate us. I will ever 
watch over Gricha and you." She asked me for her writing 
desk, and then wrote letters, which she sealed and addressed, 
adding the words, " To be opened after I am gone." Just 
as she was about to finish the last letter, our child ran into 
the room, and sitting on her knee, he caressingly stroked 
her cheek, saying, " Mama is too good to be ill." This so 
affected her, that she burst into tears, and these were the 
only tears she ever shed at the thought of leaving the body. 
Distinct musical sounds were now heard every night in our 
room, and on more than one occasion the singing of a bird 
was heard for more than an hour over her bed. 

We remained at Bournemouth about three weeks, and 
finding the climate very unsuitable, we went to the country- 
house of our kind friend, Mr. Cox, in Hampshire, where we 
remained a month. My wife now frequently saw both her 
father and mother, and also a little boy whom she did not 
recognise, and her mother told her that he was her brother 
who had passed from earth when only a few hours old. 
Here occurred some curious phenomena which are described 
in the letter of my friend, Mr. Cox, of Jermyn Street : — 



ME. cox's LETTER. 181 

"The late Robert Owen, a short time previous to his 
passing from earth, had given me a writing desk which had 
belonged to his wife, and which contained amongst other 
things a box of paints. As I had other things of his as 
remembrances, I felt it more just after his departure, that 
some member of his family should possess the desk, which 
had belonged to their mother ; and I therefore gave it to his 
son, Mr. Robert Dale Owen, in order that he might take it 
with him to America. I felt, however, at the time an almost 
irresistible impulse to retain the desk, but the feeling of 
right overcame it. The fact had almost escaped my memory, 
when at nearly the first stance I had with Mr. Home after 
his return from Russia, the spirit of my old and valued 
friend, Mr. Owen, came and said, * Tou must tell Robert to 
return you that writing desk ; and why did you give it to 
him, for I did all I could to impress you not to part with it.' 
I wrote this to Mr. Robert Dale Owen, and in due time the 
desk was returned to me. We were then at my house in 
the country, and Mr. and Mrs. Home came to spend a short 
time with us. My little boy was then, and had been for 
some time previously, indisposed, and medical advice had 
been called in, but to little purpose. The spirits had pre- 
viously prescribed for him, and now they said they would 
magnetize some pure spring water, which would benefit him. 
For this purpose a decanter was procured, and placed on the 
middle of the table at which we were sitting. I placed it there 
myself, and had taken every precaution that no one should 
touch it. The water in the decanter became agitated after a 
few moments without any visible cause, and a powerful aroma 
came from the bottle. We tasted the water, and found it 
was strongly impregnated with something which gave it a 
decided flavour, but what it was we knew not : it was not 
like anything we had tasted before. Mr. Home was then 
thrown into the trance state, and taking the decanter in his 
right hand, he walked a few feet from the table, holding it 
in full view all the time, when, to my astonishment, I saw 
another decanter, apparently precisely similar to the other, 
in his left hand. Thus, in each of his hands I saw a decan- 



182 ME. cox's LETTER. 

ter ; and so real was the second, that I could not have told 
which of them was the material one. Even if a trick had 
been intended, here was no opportunity for it, and as the 
decanter was a large one, another one conld not have been 
concealed up Mr. Home's coat-sleeve, or about his person. 
A little later, Mr. Owen's spirit came and desired his wife's 
writing desk to be placed on the table ; and now the room 
was darkened to see if we could distinguish spirit lights, 
which were then seen by three of us. Presently we heard 
the writing desk opened, and a hand was placed in mine, 
another in my wife's, and a third in Mr. Home's, each hand 
differing in size from the others. The alphabet was called 
for, and * I fear I may have spoilt your Claude,' was spelt 
out. We could not understand this ; but when the lamp 
was relighted, we found that some paint had been taken 
from the box from inside the desk, and had been freely used 
on one of my paintings which hung several feet from where 
we were sitting. 

"Wm. Cox." 

We now returned to London ; and the first day of our 

arrival our valued friend, Dr. H , called on us, still hoping 

that the medical men had made a mistake in pronouncing 
the lung to be diseased ; and as he was sounding the chest, 
my dear wife looked up at him laughingly, and said, " Tou 
see how very different it is now to what it used to be. I 
myself can distinguish the difference in the sound." He 
sorrowfully shook his head, and said, "It is but too true, 
and with your belief I would not attempt to conceal it from 
you." Many times did he reiterate these words during her 
iUness, adding, " With my other patients I have to give 
them hopes that they are going to stay, and you are ever 
asking me for hopes that you are to go." 

During our stay in London I had a stance almost every 
night, my wife feeling that they did her good both physically 
and spiritually. The character of the manifestations occur- 
ring at this time will be seen in the accounts which are given 



ME. WILKINSON S ACCOUNT. 



183 



by my two friends. That of Mr. W. M. Wilkinson is as 
follows : — 

My First Seance with Mr. Home, 

"Though I have been on tejms of intimacy with Mr. 
Home for some years, and have heard and read of all the 
wonderful things which occur in his presence, yet this 19th 
June, 1861, is the first time I have come to see them for 
myself. It has not been because I either disbelieved them, 
or thought them of no importance, for I quite believed them, 
and thought them of very great importance. Having been, 
however, in the habit of hearing from friends of all that was 
occurring, I was fully satisfied with their accounts, and did 
not think that they were so much beneath me in observa- 
tion, that it was necessary for my own eyes to convince me. 
I take no credit to myself for this, for it is mainly a conse- 
quence of my own experience. I remember about twenty-five 
years ago, when I first heard of mesmerism, and of its 
psychological wonders, I committed the folly of saying that 
I did not believe a word of it, and since I had on that 
occasion to surrender at discretion on seeing for myself, I have 
made much fewer similar mistakes. Since that time, I have 
pursued this and kindred subjects, and I may fairly say that 
I can now readily believe in much more than I once thought 
possible. I have found this, at all events, convenient, for I 
have not had so often to find myself at variance with facts, 
which is always a painful position to be in ; and, besides, it 
has opened up to me a new world of spiritual forces, which, 
though generally ignored, I have found to account for many 
of the strangest, and otherwise incomprehensible chapters of 
human history. 

" I had on two or three occasions, through Mr. Squire and 
other mediums, seen phenomena as wonderful as those which 
I now witnessed in the presence of Mr, Home. I had seen 
nearly all the wonderful things so admirably described in the 
* Comhill Magazine,' and in the letter of Dr. Gully ; I had 
also been present when others of even a more powerful kind 



184 MB. Wilkinson's account. 

were done, and whicli were ably described by Dr. Blank, at 
page 161 of the Ist volume of the * Spiritual Magazine.' I 
had several times seen, both in London and Paris, direct 
writing by invisible power, on paper placed beyond mortal 
contact, and I was well convinced also of the alleged power 
of mediums to float in the air, by having had one come down 
on my chest, as well as having on other occasions had hold 
of his hand, whilst he was floating about in the room. I did 
not, therefore, on this evening care to disturb myself and 
others by taking those precautions which would have been 
necessary if I were the President of the Boyal Society, and 
were about to make a conclusive report to that illustrious 
body of inquirers into physics. I did not doubt, but I sat, 
and saw, and heard, and felt, and made notes. There were 
eight of us, all well known to me, and some of them known 
wherever the English language is spoken. We were in the 
drawing-room of a house in Cornwall Terrace, Eegent's Park, 
and we sat round a large loo table, and commenced talking. 
Curiously enough, one having said that Professor Faraday 
was coming on the following Monday to a s^nce, and 
speculating as to his guardian spirit not allowing him to be 
easily convinced, there were at once very loud knocks on the 
table in afi&rmation of that proposition. I was sitting next 
to my wife on her right hand, and immediately afterwards I 
felt my left leg gently touched, in a position where it was 
impossible for Mr. Home to have reached it. Then there 
began a gentle but deep vibration of the table, chairs, and 
floor, till all the room was shaking violently, during which 
the table rose about ten inches, the trembling continuing all 
the time. The table began to rise on the opposite side to 
where Mr. Home was sitting, and it was clearly out of his 
power to have so raised it. Mr. Home's chair was quietly 
moved back, away from the table, about three feet, and 
whilst there the dresses of my wife and of the lady next to 
her were both pulled, and so strongly that I could see them 
dragging down. I also felt my wife's dress whilst being so 
pulled, and there was a powerful force expended in the act 
resisting my hand. At this time Mr. Home was fully six 



ME. Wilkinson's account. 185 

feet off, and botli from distance, and from his being in full 
view, I could see that it was done by no force, of bis. Mr. 
Home now beld the accordion in his right hand beside his 
chair, and it at once began to play. He held it by the 
bottom, the keys being on the top, and they were therefore 
out of his reach. It was impossible that he could touch 
them. I carefully examined the instrument, opening the 
slide beneath the keys, and I found it to be a common 
instrument, with only the usual mechanism of the keys. 
There was nothing inside it. I looked steadily at it, and at 
the hand and fingers with which he held it. There it was, 
being pulled up and down, and discoursing sweet sounds, 
whilst his hand was stationary, and his fingers motionless. 
1 could see aboye and beneath the instrument, but there was 
no visible cause for its motion, nor for the opening and 
shutting of the keys which caused the music. When it 
ceased, my wife asked if it could not be played in her hand, 
and immediately the instrument emitted three sounds, which 
we took to. mean that it would have much pleasure in trying. 
It was accordingly given to her, and whilst she was holding 
it, she said she felt one of her fingers being touched. Im- 
mediately afterwards the table was raised about a foot 
steadily from the floor. As there was no sound from the 
accordion in her hands, she returned it to Mr. Home, but it 
was taken from his hand immediately, and given back to 
her, and whilst in her right hand it began to play. She 
felt it distinctly lifted up and drawn forcibly down, and she 
did not and could not touch the keys, which, however, must 
necessarily have been touched and opened to make the sounds. 
In Mr. Home's hands a beautiful tune was now played, during 
which we heard what has been so often described, the full 
notes gradually decreasing till they died away into the 
thinnest streaks of sound. By three quickly repeated notes 
it was promised that the instruments should play the tiine 
of the other evening, representing ' The Two Lives,' the one 
in this world, the other in that which follows. The first, or 
this world's life, was represented by discords grating pain- 
fully on the ear, and which I thought did but scant justice 



186 MB. Wilkinson's account. 

to a world wliicli, though capable of improvement, still has 
some rich harmonies within its depths. In mercy to our 
ears, the first life did not last long, and was then succeeded 
bj the second, which was made up of beautiful soft angel 
music, such as I had never heard. It played for several 
minutes, swelling into rich sounds, of which the sweetness 
was enchanting to the ear, and gradually changed into the 
dear old tune of ' Home, sweet Home.' 

What more appropriate arid happy view of the second life 
could be given in musical sounds than this of its being 
home ; and what a sweet sermon on the relative values of 
the two lives ! I believe it was received more solemnly, and 
yet more thankfully by all who were present, from our 
knowing the sickness * even unto death ' of one of the party, 
the youngest and the happiest in her bright longings for 
this second life. It would be almost blasphemy to ask in 
her presence what is the good of Spiritualism. Such a 
question would not occur to a good man, and could not be 
asked by a wise one. The mere man of science who mea- 
sures human souls by mathematics, would be out of place in 
such a scene, and had I not been too happily engaged with 
my own thoughts, I should have felt glad that we were 
troubled with none such. I did not during this last per- 
formance scrutinize the instrument further than to see that 
it was held, bottom upwards, in Mr. Home's right hand, his 
other hand being upon the table, as were the hands of all 
the other persons present, and I am not aware of any natural 
means by which an accordion can be played under such con- 
ditions. I do not doubt for another reason, however, having 
once had an accordion play in my own hands, when I know 
that I did not do it. I also know that Lord Lyndhurst, and 
many other public men whom I could name, have had a 
similar experience. 

'^ But now the table rises again a clear foot from the floor, 
and there stands, not quietly, but strongly undulating, still 
so that I was able to make the following note on my paper 
resting on the table, whilst it was at its full height above 
the ground : — ' Table rose a foot. Count 10. I wrote this 



MR. WILKINSON S ACCOUNT. 



187 



whilst up and undulating.' It then gently descended to the 
floor again. We now changed places according to directions, 
and a gentleman became my right hand neighbour, who, in 
a minute after, said that he saw a hand which he believed to 
be his son's. I did not see it, nor did I see three fingers 
which my wife shortly after saw ; but in answer to a ques- 
tion, I had three taps on my knee as from a hand, still with 
no such distinctness as to make me sure what it was. At 
this time, several at once said they saw a light cloudy 
appearance dart across the room, but, being behind me, I 
saw nothing of it. 

" In one comer of the room, near where we were sitting, 
was a shrine with several Indian idols of bronze. Suddenly, 
there was a commotion amongst them, and a crash, and a 
large one was thrown down, and brought with some violence 
and noise under the table. There it appeared as if it was 
in the hands of some vigorous power, and presently we found 
a jingling of some metallic substance against it, which after- 
wards proved to be a metal ornamental canopy, which had 
been unscrewed from the back of the idol, and with which 
questions were now answered by knocking them together. 
In like manner, loud knocks were made in answer to ques- 
tions, by rattling the idol against the floor. A remark was 
made as to the want of respect thus indicated, and at once a 
number of jubilant raps were produced by again knocking 
the two parts of the idol together. Two or three times the 
idol appeared, pushing up inside of the table cloth, and 
twice it made its appearance naked above the table, and 
gently reached the ground again. Some flowers were brought 
from the shrine, and placed in the hand of each person pre- 
sent. Our present consisted of a rose and several pinks. I 
felt the rose placed in my hand under the table, all other 
hands being visible and on the table. 

" Several times during the evening we all perceived a cool 
air pervading the table, and which it was impossible not to 
notice. The accordion was now placed on the floor, and all 
hands on the table, when it was heard to sound clearly 
several times, but no tune was played. It then tried to get 



188 MB. Wilkinson's aocoukt. 

from the floor to the table, but was not able to accomplish 
the whole journey, and fell gently back to the floor. The 
table was now again raised clear from the ground, both my 
feet being on its pediment, and pressing heavily downwards 
the whole time. The resistance and upward steady move- 
ment of the table were strangely curious, as was its careful 
quiet descent, my feet still pressing on it, and yet it reached 
the ground without noise. There was now a general rattle 
among the idols, and several very loud knocks, and then 
came an end of a very interesting evening, during which I 
have seen and heard what was sufficient to convince me that 
those are wrong who deny the possibiKty of the phenomena. 
How they are to be accounted for is another matter, which 
may be discussed with many honest differences of opinion ; 
but that they exist is not a matter of doubt, but of certainty. 
There are some well-meaning persons who say that they are 
done by the devil; but I saw no signs on this evening of 
any wickedness, either in the work, or in the persons who 
looked on. For myself, I took up much the same attitude 
as I should do at a scientific lecture, illustrated with experi- 
ments and diagrams, and I perceived no special influence 
but that of a strong desire to observe the facts. 

" As to the facts being impossible, because they do not 
square with the ideas of spirit and of matter which are 
current in the Royal Society, that is not my affair, for I did 
not make either the facts, or the opinions which find them 
so inconvenient. I do but state that which I have seen, and 
if I have done so clearly, that is my only wish. Facts will 
always take care of themselves, and those are the most wise 
to whom they administer no reproof. There is another 
reason why I hope to have enlarged the circle of observers, 
by my description of this evening's phenomena. It is im- 
possible for many that they should see what I have seen, 
and so far as they can believe my testimony, the necessity 
for their personal seeing is avoided. Many things must be 
taken on the evidence of others. * Non cuivis contingit adire 
Corinthum.' It does not happen to every one to go to 
Corinth, and so they who can*t go themselves^ must take the 



MB. howitt's letteb. 189 

accoTint of those wlio have been there. A certain few of a 
peculiar turn of mind, common to all ages, cannot accept 
the testimony of others, and they are best left alone, till an 
opportunity offers of convincing them by a mode suitable to 
their peculiar weakness. It is not yet fashionable to believe 
in these impossible things, and as some one must begin and 
put up with the necessary ridicule, I willingly submit my 
name for as much as can be made to stick to it. 

"W. M. Wilkinson. 
"Hampstead." 

Mr. William Howitt, who has made such deep researches 
into this subject, and has in his great work now ready for 
the press, brought together the testimonies, ancient and 
modem, to the supernatural in all ages, was present oiv seve- 
ral occasions to observe and investigate the phenomena, and 
in an eloquent and forcible letter which he wrote to Mr. 
Barkas of Newcastle, he gives an account of some part of 
what he witnessed. 

" I wish some of your negatives could have seen what I 
and Mrs. Howitt, and several others saw at the house of a 
lady in Eegent's Park, about three months ago, and the like 
of which some of our most distinguished nobility have seen 
there repeatedly of late. There were, besides us, Mr. and Mrs. 
Home, and a Eussian Count Steinbeck, and several others. We 
had beautiful music played on the accordion when held in one 
hand by Mr. Home, who cannot play a note, and the same 
when held by a lady. We had the clearest and most prompt 
communications on different subjects through the alphabet, 
and flowers were taken from a bouquet on a cheffonier at a 
distance, and brought and handed to each of us. Mrs. 
Howitt had a sprig of geranium handed to her by an invisi- 
ble hand, which we have planted, and it is growing ; so that 
it is no delusion, no fairy money turned into dross or leaves. 
I saw a spirit hand as distinctly as I ever saw my own. I 
touched one several times, once when it was handing me the 
flower. My wife's silk dfess was pulled so strongly that she 



190 MB. howitt's letter. 

thought it would tear out the gathers, and was rustled so 
loudly, that it was not only heard by all of us, but might 
have been heard in another room. My wife's handkerchief 
was taken from her knee, and brought and whisked against 
my hand at the opposite side of the table ; I thought, with 
the intention of my taking it, but the spirit would not allow 
that, but withdrew it a little, then whisked my hand with 
it anew, and then flung it into the middle of the room. 
The dress and the handkerchief were perfectly visible during 
these operations, but the motive power was invisible. 

"Then the spirits went to a shrine of bronze idols, belong- 
ing to the lady of the house, who bought them in India. 
Some of these are very heavy* They pitched them down on 
the floor, and with such violence that the clash might have 
been heard all over the house. The larger of these idols — 
perhaps all — of that I am not certain — unscrew, and the 
screws work exactly the opposite way to our screws ; but 
the spirits unscrewed them, and pummelled their heads lus- 
tily on the floor, saying, through the alphabet, " You must 
all do your best to destroy idolatry, both in India and in 
England, where it prevails in numerous ways. Idolatry of 
rank, idolatry of wealth, idolatry of self, idolatry of mere 
intellect and learning," &c., &c. The different parts were 
thrown under the table, that you might tread them under 
foot, and two parts of the idol Mahadeo, of heavy bronze, 
were placed on the table by a visible hand. The head of the 
idol felt to me to weigh four or five pounds. 

" Mr. Home was lifted about a foot from the ground, but 
did not float, as he frequently does, in the strongest light. 
The table, a very heavy loo table, was also several times 
lifted a foot or more from the ground, and we were invited 
to look under it and see that there was no visible cause. To 
us, who have seen so much of these things, and to whom they 
are as familiar as the sight of a bird flying, and far more 
familiar than the present comet, this was not necessary. 

" A few evenings afterwards a lady desiring that the 
' Last Eose of Summer ' might be played by a spirit on the 
accordion, the wish was complied with, but in so wretched a 



MB. howitt's lettee. 191 

style that the company begged that it might be discon- 
tinued. This was done ; but soon after, evidently by an- 
other spirit, the accordion was carried and suspended over 
the lady's head, and there, without any visible support or 
action on the instrument, the air was played through most 
admirably, in the view and hearing of all." 



192 



CHAPTEE XI. 

A DIABY AND LBTTEB. 

Nearly the whole range of the phenomena occurred 

during bur residence with our friend Mrs. P in the Ee- 

gent's Park, and she has been a frequent visitor at other 
stances, and has kept a diary of every evening, which she 
has kindly placed at my disposal. I propose therefore to 
make extacts from it of some of the more striking pheno- 
mena both of this and of subsequent dates. 

Short Ext/ract8 from a Diary, 1860-61-62. 

December 15, 1860. — My 7n£ntal questions were answered 
by raps upon my dress. I put my right hand suddenly 
upon my lap, and tried to take hold of whatever it was 
that was touching my dress, but could seize nothing. Mr. 
Home desired me to put a handkerchief over my hand. I 
did so, and immediately on putting it down, a hand grasped 
mine, and I suddenly withdrew it. Determined to conquer 
the nervous feelings that overcame me, again I put my hand 
down, and it was taken by another hand, and kisses were im- 
printed on it from the tips of the fingers all over the palm. 
An accordion, held in Mr. Home's right hand, played the 
most exquisite music, swelling forth in full harmonious 
tones, and dying away in notes of tenderness, and of ex- 
quisite and unearthly music. His left hand was all the 
time on the table. 

A number of manifestations took place, and to mental ques- 
tions I received intelligent answers, and I returned home from 



t ' 



DIAEY. 193 

tliis my first seance with Mr. Home, convinced of the truth 
of our being permitted to hold intercourse with those who 
have passed to the spirit-land. 

jDecember 2Mh, — The accordion played in Mr. Home's 
hand, then five raps asked for the alphabet, and " Christmas 
Hymn " was spelled out ; again five raps, and " less earthly 
light ;" we lowered the flame of the four gas jets that were 
burning over the table, and "The Manger, the Life, and 
the passing away," was spelled out. The accordion played 
a sweet air appropriate to childhood, " The Life " was re- 
presented by the most harmonious strains intermingled with 
discords at times, as if it were thorny and painful, and the 
passing away died on the air with exquisite tenderness. 

January 29th. — A stance of eight persons. We had 
amused ourselves during the time with the article, " Spirit- 
rapping made easy," in the magazine * Once a Week,' which 
we left on the chiffonier. I saw something pass from the 
side of the room with great velocity, which vanished under 
the table. A curious noise was heard like the crumpling of 
paper, a spirit hand arose, appeared, and placed in the me- 
dium's hand a sheet of * Once a Week,' crumpled up and 
torn. The spirits were at work destroying the magazine — ■ 
they rubbed it strongly over Mr. Home's shoe, and then placed 
his foot upon it. The spirits gave each person a bit of the 
mangled magazine, and the remainder was raised up by a 
large spirit hand, and placed on a vacant chair, which by 
invisible power had a short time before been moved from a 
distance to the table. The table was violently moved up to 
the centre window, before which stood a piece of the bough 
of the northern poplar which had been sent from the Cha- 
teau de C , and which was a part of that, from the fall 

of which Mr. Home so miraculously escaped. The height of 
the bough was three feet eight inches, and the circum- 
ference three feet. Luminous hands were now and then 
visible, the table rose gently, and tipped mapy times against 
the bough; the spirits threw bits of the torn magazine 
about it, and placed one piece under it. I asked in Hin- 
dostanee, "Are you making Mr. Novra do jpoojc^ to the 

o 



194 DIABT. 

branch ?" To which they loudly rapped " Yes." The gas 
lights from the streets were streaming in, the spirits closed 
the shutters, and we heard a curious tearing noise, a spirit 
hand came across my hands, and placed upon them a bit of 
the bark torn from the poplar, the noise recommenced, and 
to every one of the circle a bit was given. Invisible power 
opened the shutters, the trunk of the tree rocked and waved 
backwards and forwards, and after a time it was lifted up 
by invisible power and laid upon the table. At this time, 
" Oft in the stilly night " was played by the accordion which 
lay on the floor, untouched by mortal hands. Mr. Home's 
arms were raised, and he walked to the end of the room, 
where he was lifted off the ground, and raised until his 
feet were on a level with the top of the chiffonier, between 
four and five feet from the ground. I distinctly saw his 
body carried along erect in the air, it then returned to its 
former place, where it remained some time — at length it 
floated forward in the air, passed behind the gas chandelier 
which was suspended in the centre of the apartment, and 
he descended gently upon the floor, close to the chair in 
which a lady was sitting. She said that when she saw him, 
he was about four feet from the ground. When he had 
descended his arms were paralized, but in a short time they 
returned to their natural state. 

March \^th, — The trunk of the tree that stood in the 
window was shaken, the roll of drums was heard on the 
table, and it was lifted as before. The tree shook again, 
and the accordion which was on the ground, played un- 
touched by mortal hand. Mr. Home took it afterwards in 
his right hand, and held it upside down— it was played upon 
in the most masterly style, the harmony was beautiful. A 
small chess table from a distance, came up of its own 
accord, and pushing up to the edge of the loo table, rose 
and stood upright upon it. Luminous hands often ap- 
peared. A beautiful little hand arose between the trunk of 
the tree and the curtain, the fingers distinctly plain ; it rose 
higher, until it shewed the arm up to the shoulder, and the 
little fingers bending over the top of the tree, played with 



DIABY, 195 

the broken points of the wood, the upright splinters, and then 
after we had seen it for some time it vanished. Mr. Home 
was pushed back in his chair a foot or so, and a luminous 
head came up from his right side, stopped in front of his 
knees, and then coming towards me, as I sat on his left 
hand, it disappeared. 

Ma/rch 19th, — En seance five persons at Mr. Home's. He 
fell immediately into the trance, and after a time he awoke. 
I had in my pocket a musket ball, which in battle had broken 
the leg of a beloved relative. My dress was pulled, and a 
spirit hand rapped several times on my knee — it was his 
spirit. I took the bullet in my right hand, and put my 
handkerchief over it, spirit fingers turned the handkerchief 
over the bullet, and took it away. Soon after, my dress 
was again pulled, and the hand put the bullet which had 
been tied up in a handkerchief into my hand. Keeping per- 
fectly quiet, I said, " Beloved spirit, will you kiss my hand ?" 
and immediately my fingers were kissed four times. The 
spirit told me that the bullet now possessed tahsmanic 
power, not in cases of sickness, but in those of accidents. 
Natural flowers were taken off the table, and given to each 
person present. Mr. Home was now led to the end of the 
room, which was very dark ; he was raised from the ground, 
a beautiful star was visible, and also one like a small comet. 
He said a star was on his forehead, and one on each hand ; 
we saw the three very bright, and many others glancing 
about. He was fixed against the wall. The luminous ap- 
pearance was so distinct as to render the papering on 
the wall perfectly distinct; and then he floated along 
the room and was placed on his knees on the sofit ; again 
he was carried up, and the star on his forehead shewed 
where he was — as he floated along the room, it floated above 
his head, and when he descended the star was quenched. 
Whilst he was at the table, a spirit hand raised the accor- 
dion from the floor above the table, and when he was borne 
into the air, the accordion floated above his head, playing 
beautifully all the time, and crossed from one end of the 
room to tibie other. 

o 2 



196 DIABY. 

Ma/rch 2Sih, — En seance nine persons at Mr. Home's 
house. I had a gilt whistle in my hand, Mr. Home took it 
in his left hand, and put it under the table-cloth ; in his 
right hand was the accordion. " Oh !" he exclaimed, " it is 
so strange — ^what are they doing with the whistle? the 
spirit has turned it round in my hand, and I feel a mouth 
against my fingers !" The whistle was immediately sounded 
several times. This was quite a new manifestation. The 
spirit then took the whistle from him, the accordion began 
to play, and the air was accompanied by the whistle, which 
I then heard drop upon the floor. 

March 31«t — En ekmce seven persons. I put down my 
hand, and held it motionless, it was kissed by two spirits, and 
when the table-cloth was lifted off the bracelet, I felt fingers 
trying to pull it off my arm, but it would not pass over my 
hand, then the fingers turned the bracelet round until they 
got hold of the clasp which it appeared they found difficult 
to unfasten. At length having succeeded in so doing, they 
carried the bracelet away. Shortly afterwards a hand arose 
near a gentleman opposite, and threw the bracelet gently on 
the centre of the table. 

June 2nd, — A stance of five persons. As twilight came 
on, a pleasant dimness fell over the room, and a lady said, 
"Is the light the spirits love, like the odylic?" to which 
raps answered, " More refined." The spirits moved the table 
with violence up to the window, near the Hindoo shrine, 
and the accordion (no human hand touching it), played in 
the most charming manner, exquisitely and with great 
power. There was much noise at the Hindoo shrine, the 
image of Vishnu and the Holy Bull were brought and put 
on the top of the table, then a large hand, which appeared 
dark, being between us and the light, put up the accordion 
entirely above the top of the table, a second hand on the 
other side, took it down again, another hand took a bell off 
the table and rang it. Mr. Home was raised from his chair 
erect into the air, and descended on a foot-stool. Then he 
was drawn to the other end of the room, and raised' in the 
air until his hand was on the top of the door ; thence he 



DIABT. 197 

floated horizotdaJly forward, and descended. I saw a bright 
star constantly flasMng forth, the raps died away in the dis- 
tance, and the stance ended. 

Jtme Srd. — ^A stance of nine persons. I placed a large 
bouquet of natural flowers on the shoulder of the great 
marble idol Ganesh. The accordion in Mr. Home's right 
hand playing most beautifully, harmonized the circle, and 
the spirit hands touched almost every one present. A rust- 
ling sound was heard about the idol, and something passed 
under the table. The spirits rapped, "They are •not so 
beautiful as those you wiU find with us," and immediately 
the bouquet was placed in Mrs. Home's hands. Mr. Home, 
untying the bouquet, returned the flowers to Mrs. Home, 
who asked the spirit to give them a talismanic power, and 
take one to each of us The first flower, a rosebud, was 
carried to a lady, and the spirits rapped, " From one who is 
a mortal, but will ere long be with us — emblem of Sacha." 
This announcement drew tears from us all ; we were deeply 
affected, and Mr. Home sank back overcome with emotion. 
A narcissus was given to me, and a flower to every one pre- 
sent, also some for those who were absent, but who were 
loved by Mrs. Home. She spoke for a length of time con- 
solations for those whom she was about to quit ; her voice 
was very weak, and I lost the greater part of what she said. 
She shook hands with us aU, a fareweU we wept, but not a 
word was uttered. 

Jime 5th, — A seance of four persons. Mr. Home imme- 
- diately went into the trance, and after many communica- 
tions said, '^ If you could only see the mass of spirits near 
Sacha ! A veiled female is near her — when Sacha goes to 
the spirit-land, there she will be, her veil off, she will place 
it on Sacha's brow, heavy with its own stars, shimmering, 
shimmering down. Beautiful features, long flowing hair, 
her hands crossed thus — ^looks upward — upward — no sorrow, 
no pain ! prayer is carried up by loving hands and placed 
before God's holy throne — ^they bear His blessings down to 
earth. A staff is placed in their hands, a cloud to shade the 
heart from the sunbeams — by the side is suspended the bread 



198 PIABT. 

of life — the Hope star high in the heavens to lead them 
from earth, and to trust only in Gk)d." 

June Will, — ^n seance seven persons. The spirits played 
beautiful music, and brought to us sprigs which they tore 
off a sweet-scented verbena which was in the room. They 
brought the JDetV, a brass idol holding a mirror, from the 
shrine, and put it under the table. Mr. Home saw a spirit at 
the shrine ; then they rapped, " Faith in God, and the 

change of world will be most glorious, all other " (the 

idols which they had placed under the table were rattled 
violently) " Godis " were rapped out ; again they rapped the 
idols violently, and beat them against one another with 
great noise and force, and spelled " must ;" they raised the 
great idol Mahadeo, and put it on the table. It is the large 
brass idol overshadowed by the expanded hood of the cobra 
di cwpella. Then they rapped "be brought." They took the 
idol off the table, and pitched it down violently with a 
clang and noise, then rapped ** down low before him." In 
this manner they elucidated the words they rapped out, 
" Faith in God and the change of world will be most glo- 
rious ; all other Gods must be brought down low before 
Him." 

Jtme 12th, — A verbena plant in a flower-pot stood 
by the shrine. A hand touched Mrs. Home, and the 
verbena plant, with the little sticks that supported it, 
having been broken off at the roots, was thrown by the 
spirits upon the table. Then they rapped, "we regret, 
but in taking the flower we have also taken the earth with 
it." They shook Mrs. Home's dress violently, earth was 
thrown on Mr. Home's shoulder, and over it on the table. 
He saw a spirit hand which was full of earth, and then the 
remainder which had come out of the flower-pot in a mass, 
was placed in his hand; not a bit of the living flower 
remained in it. The spirits rapped — " Life-giving — and the 
casket that remains only fit to be broken." Immediately 
they broke the empty flower-pot to pieces, as it lay on the 
ground by the window, emblematic of drawing the soul from 
its earthly tenement. 



DIABY. 199 

Jwne \Zih, — ^Mr. Home went into the trance, and said, 
" There are more spirits around Sacha, and the veiled 
spirit is' coming nearer and nearer." Mysterious sounds 
which we had before heard in the chamber above were 
repeated. When asked, " How do you feel when you go 
into the trance ?" he said, " At first a heaviness in my feet 
comes on, I feel as if fainting away on the brink of a pre- 
cipice — ^there is a moment of suffering, and then all is 
agreeable." 

Jwne 22nd, — En eean^e seven persons. A spirit hand 
arose and came to Mrs. Home; it moved about; she was 
anxious to touch it ; a long finger pointed to and motioned 
her to be quiet. A hand and arm were distinctly seen, 
and a spirit hand closed the shutters. Flowers were 
given to some, and were placed on the > heads of other 
persons. My head was twice touched, and twice an arm 
waved over the table; three times an open hand was 
strongly pressed on my forehead. A spring-bell from the 
shutters, used as an alarum, was rung above our heads, and 
we saw the hand which held it. Mr. Home went into the 
trance, and said, "Where the eye ought to be are placed 
two crosses ; the Christian faith will pat the eye out. I do 
not understand what they mean, the spirit is doing it! 
Hark ! hark ! don't write." I ceased writing ; we listened, 
and heard a noise like scratching on the shrine. Mr. Home 
woke from the trance, and the s^nce ended. On going to 
the shrine, we saw on the forehead of the great white marble 
image of Gkmesh, two crosses made in pencil by the spirits, 
just over the centre triple eye of the idol, which denotes its 
having all-seeing power. This was the noise alluded to by 
Mr< Home in the trance. 

Jime 24. — Seven persons en secmce. A scientific gentleman, 
who had written to disprove spiritual manifestations, was to 
have joined the party ; however, he requested to have a pro- 
gramme ! which he said is due to him as a scientific man, 
and to his position! It being impossible to give a pro- 
gramme, he declined joing the seance. 

June 25th. — En aecmce eight persons. The accordion 



jp- 



200 DIABY. 

plajing of itself, was raised above the table ; then it was 
shown a second time. The spirits rapped to a lady whose 
child had passed away — " She only went to God, she did not 
die." At the word God the most peculiar sounds were 
made, as if to impress ns with solemnity. 

Jime 27. — ^A stance of eight persons. Numerous mani- 
festations took place. Flowers were given, the accordion 
played, and an American cane chair, which was at the other 
side of the room, was moved by unseen power up to the 
table. A hand touched our foreheads, and an arm waved in 
the air over the table several times. Mr. Home was drawn 
back in his chair, and an arm, the hand holding the alarum- 
bell, waved over the table ; it rang in the air, and by my 
shoulder, which it touched, and then fell to the ground. 
The accordion, now in the air, untouched by mortal hand, 
played beautifdlly as it floated round the table, and touched 
each person present. 

June 28. — A s^nce of eight persons. Mr. Home was raised 
from his chair, and carried up a little in an erect posture, 
and then put down again. Music was heard in the air, and 
then strange sounds — we marvelled what it might be. " Is 
it a spirit?" "Yes." Then the spirit spoke many times, 
but the words were unintelligible. Mrs. Home was afraid, and 
begged them not to speak ; and Mr. Home said, '^ It is their 
difficulty to make the material sounds of speech." It re- 
minded me of Bournemouth, where in Mr. Home's room I 
had heard music, the chirping of a bird, and spirit voices 
very distinctly. 

Jtme 30. — ^A s^nce of three persons. The table trembled 
and tipped so much, we were surprised the decanters did not 
fall off. Then it was shaken so violently that froth was 
produced, and the wine in the decanters splashed up their 
long necks, whilst the water was scarcely affected. The 
spirits rapped out their dislike to wine. The table was 
made excessively heavy; four of us stood up and tried to 
lift it with all our power ; it would not stir, neither could 
we turn it round. Soon after, it was lifted by the spirits a 
foot or more from the ground, with all the things upon it, 



DIABY. 201 

and then it gently descended. One person could now lift it, 
and it was rendered heavy several times. 

July 3rd. — En seance seven persons. The table was shaken, 
and rose and undulated in the air, whilst I counted sixty-two 
aloud. Mr. Home was lifted up a little in his chair, and 
went into the trance. His arms were then raised, and ho 
ascended about a foot from the ground, descended, and rose 
again a couple of feet. He leaned over until he touched Mrs. 
Home, and then he was carried up, his body being bent 
forward in a circular form, until his head was above the 
centre pane in the large window; he ascended some feet, 
and came down again. It was quite light in the window, 
and we were close to it. He then went to the end of the 
room into the darkness, and we could not see him ascend, 
but three bright stars were shown which denoted where he 
was. He descended, returned to the table quite stiffened, 
awoke soon afterwards, and came out of the trance. 

July 7th, — We, four persons, were sitting at the centre 
window in the front drawing-room, talking together, when 
the spirits began to rap on the floor. Mr. Home brought 
up a small table, and we had many manifestations, in the 
midst of which a sofa-table at the end of the room, on which 
was a large lamp and two flower-pots containing fine lemon- 
scented verbenas. One of them rolled up, untouched by any one 
and placed itself between Mr. and Mrs. Home. It was a fine 
summer evening, and the room was perfectly light. Mr. Home 
fell back in his chair, and went into the deep sleep for some 
time ; then he walked about the room, led apparently by a 
spirit, a very large bright star shone on his forehead, several 
clustered on his hair, and on the tips of his fingers. He 
made passes over the verbena plant, but did not touch it. 
Immediately the air was filled with the scent which he 
wafted to each of us, and it remained most powerfully on 
his hands. Making more passes, stiU in the trance, he said, 
" Thus we extract the essence from the flower ; in the same 
manner the soul is taken from the body ; to-morrow you will 
see the lower leaves are withered, and the plant will die in a 
few days." Which fact occurred as he had said, yet no 



DIABT. 

apparent eatue could be assigned why it should have died. 
We then went into the dining-room below; and after re- 
freshments our gnests quitted, leaving only Mr. Home, who 
was seated in an easy chair by the fire-side, Mrs. Home 
sleeping on the sofa, and I sitting by the table reading by 
lamp-light. Suddenly loud raps were heard on the large 
heayy dinner-table ; it trembled, rose, and balanced in the 
air. Mr. Home was led about the room, the shutters were 
closed, I put out the gas-lights, and we were in dark- 
ness. A spirit touched my fingers as they lay on the table, 
voices were heard in the air, and Mr. Home said, " The 
spirits are trying to talk." " Yes," then a voice said, " we 
are trying to come." I heard two voices of very different 
tone, and asked, " Who are you, dear spirit ?" The name 
was given and repeated several times. Mr. Home was led 
about the room, showing stars on his forehead and fingers 
as he held his hands up. A cross of stars was seen by him 
and Mrs. Home. I only saw the cross-bar of stars, not the 
uprights. He was led up to the shutters, and he opened 
the lower part; immediately spirit power closed the lower 
and opened the upper part. Mr. Home was now led to the 
further end of the room, and passed in front of a very large 
mirror — a sea of glass. I saw a form leading him, over the 
head of which was thrown a tinted robe flowing to the 
ground, marking the shape of the head and shoulders. He 
followed close upon it ; I saw them both in the mirror, his 
features, &»ce, and hair, perfectly distinct, but the features 
of the form that led him were not visible beneath the dark 
blue tinted robe that covered them. They passed from before 
the glass, and then we all saw a female figure with a white 
veil thrown over her head, which fell to the ground ; at the 
same time, but rather higher, was the form of a man in 
oriental costume. The startling vision faded away, and the 
great mirror remained with only the light from the window, 
which streamed in upon it. 

Jvly \2th» — En seance six persons. Stars appeared above 
Mrs. Home's head, and a light was seen, with fingers passing 
over it as it floated above our heads. It was the veiled 



DIABT. 

8PIBIT. I saw the liand wluch held the veil, which was 
spangled with stars, and the fingers moved distinctly as it 
floated just in front of ns. A star was seen on Mr. Home, 
and flowers were given. Mrs. Home's mother made the sign 
of the cross on her brow, and then on Mr. Home's. Two 
fingers touched mj forehead, and one all wet made the sign 
of the cross. The tearing of paper was now heard, and soon 
after a spirit hand took hold of my left hand as it lay on the 
table, and put a piece of paper into it. Other pieces of paper 
were torn off, and then a pencil was thrown to the other end 
of the room. A bell was rung in the air, the accordion 
floating above our heads played the most joyful and martial 
music, and Mrs. Home saw her spirit-father. " God bless 
you all, good night," was now rapped. On looking at the paper 
that had been put into my hand, I found the initials of a 
beloved spirit, beautifully written in pencil, a fac^evmile of his 
writing when on earth. A paper had been given to Mrs. 
Home by her father, and on it was a cross surmounted by a 
crown, to show us that we must bear the cross to wear the 
crown. 

February 18, 1862. — A stance of six persons. After various 
manifestations, Mr. Home went into the trance, and addres- 
sing a person present said, " You ask what good are such 
trivial manifestations, such as rapping, table-moving, &c.P 
God is a better judge than we are what is fitted for hu- 
manity, immense results may spring from trivial things. 
The steam from a kettle is a small thing, but look at the 
locomotive ! The electric spark from the back of a cat is a 
small thing, but see the wonders of electricity ! The raps 
are small things, but their results will lead you to the Spirit 
World and to eternity ! Why should great results spring 
from such small causes ? Christ was bom in a manger, he 
was not bom a King. When you tell me why he was bom 
in a manger, I will tell you why these manifestations, so 
trivial, so imdignified as they appear to you, have been ap- 
pointed to convince the world of the truth of spiritualism." 

The foregoing extracts will be read with interest by those 



204 DliJLT. 

persons who were present, and perhaps by a larger circle. I 
give no names, but merely the ia/cts as they occurred, be- 
cause it is imvpoesible for any one to give credit to such mar- 
vels, until by investigation they are forced to believe the 
truth. 

F. C. P. 

In this diary there are several remarkable manifestations, 
and amongst them that of the presence of the veiled spirit, 
who thenceforth was frequently seen by my wife and by me, 
as will be read in the beautiful memoir of my wife, written 
by that most estimable type of womanhood, Mrs. Mary 
Howitt. The veil of that spirit kept gradually being raised 
through the successive stages of my dear wife's painful 
illness, and became almost an index of the insidious advances 
of her disease. 

There is one phenomenon, however, which has happened 
to me only on the occasion described in the diary. I allude 
to the wonderful case of the verbena plant, and the drawing 
of its scent, and of its very life out of it, by a few passes of 
my hand, wafting its whole perfume in the faces of the sit- 
ters, and leaving the tree to die for waint of the vital principle 
which had been thus extracted from it. I have heard before 
of experiments tried in mesmerism upon plants with some 
apparent results, but never of any so marked as this, of the 
verbena. It is not wise to judge of isolated cases, but 
probably there may occur, or may be found, other instances 
of a similar kind, which may throw light upon the power of 
the human will, over the lower forms of life. 



I am sorry that in so many instances I am obliged to 
conceal the names of my friends who have witnessed won- 
derful things ; but if the reader is disposed to complain of 
this, let him remember the reason, and take the greater part 
of the blame on himself. No sooner is the name of some 
honest and courageous person given in obedience to the call 



SCEPTICS 206 

for testimony, than it becomes a target for all the ridi- 
cule, jests, and abuse of the unscrupulous, the sceptical, 
the orthodox, and the scientific; in fact, of all who are 
not wise enough to think, and observe, and weigh, and 
judge, before thej decide. There is small encouragement 
for men, and still less for ladies, to come forward, 
and stand in front of all this obloquy. If an example be 
needed of the truth of this, if it be not an obvious fact 
already in this uncharitable day, let my adventurous friends 
watch the extent to which I shall be abused, and called bad 
names, and given to the devil, for simply and truthfully 
writing in this little book a few of the incidents of my life, 
with the production of which I have had nothing to do. 
It has been my good fortune never to have cared much for 
bad opinions of me, which have been formed in utter and 
acknowledged ignorance; and my silence hitherto when 
the most gross and foolish statements have been made 
to my prejudice, and when a word from me would have 
corrected them, is a sufficient proof of my indifference to 
such attacks. I am sorry, however, for the want of kindness 
and the folly which so many exhibit, for their own sakes, 
more than for my own. I do not expect that they will 
behave differently now in regard to what they see in my 
book, for in the present state of their minds, the truth cannot 
be received. The facts become to them impossible, while to me, 
and to many of my friends who have been in the habit of see- 
ing them, and watching them, and studying them and their 
consequences for so many years, their strangeness even has 
well nigh disappeared. We ought certainly to make some 
allowance for those ignorant persons who sit quietly at 
home, saying that such things are impossible, without 
having ever taken the trouble to try to witness them, or to 
get together even the first elements for forming a judgment 
upon them. These are not so unjust and dishonest as 
that other class, of which Sir David Brewster is' the type, 
who, in the interests of what they consider their position in 
the scientific world, have no scruple in telling falsehoods, 



TBSTIMONY OF MB8. 8. 

and in denying wliat they liave seen, and in deceiving still 
fbrther the former class of merely ignorant persons. 

I hope, therefore, that both I and my friends may be in 
some measure excused for giving their narratives without 
their names. If I were at liberty to make them public, 
they would add greatly to the value of the narrative, and 
the public would have the opportunity of being greatly 
surprised at finding out who are the persons who have 
investigated the subject, and vouch for these remarkable 
facts. In society they are well known to many ; and, per- 
haps, nothing is more strange than the entire belief with 
which these facts are spoken of and received in large mixed 
companies, when compared with the expression of entire 
disbelief with which they are accompanied in nearly all 
notices in the press. Of those who will openly condemn 
this narrative in their journals, hardly one does not reckon 
amongst his intimate and valued friends, or relatives, or 
co-contributors, several who are with good reason entire 
believers. It would be curious to contrast the language he 
holds to such persons with that he uses in describing my 
book to the ignorant masses, who, he meanly knows expect 
such abuse at his hands and will be pleased to hear it. If 
it were necessary, I could give some names which would 
amply justify what I have said of these poor leaders of 
the blind. 

The testimony which I will now give is that of a lady, 
whose word and powers of observation are entitled to the 
most unreserved acceptance, and I am sorry that I can only 

give her initial, and call her Mrs. S . She had become 

a widow not long before I had the pleasure of making hev 
acquaintance. 

'* I first attended a stance at Mr. Home's in the summer 
of 1861, when I was in very deep aflaiction. I had never 
seen anything of Spiritualism before, but had heard a good 
deal of it from a dear old friend who introduced me to Mr* 
Home. My own experiences that night were far moi^ 



.1 



TESTIMONY OF MBS. S. 207 

wonderful than anything I had ever heard or read of, and 
were to me most convincing. After many raps, movements 
of the table, &c., my handkerchief was drawn from my hand, 
the knocks given for the alphabet, and the words * Shed no 
more tears ' were spelled out, and my handkerchief came wp 
of itself at the opposite side of the table, raised itself half a 
yard above the table, moved gently across, and settled itself 
<yii the table in front of me ; this I saw without a possibility 
of mistake or doubt. After this, Mr. Home fell into a trance, 
and described my dear husband most accurately, said how 
noble he was in mind and body, and how he should have 
loved him had he known him in life, and then said, * But 
who is that Mary standing by his side? What a noble 
woman, and how she loves him, and how happy they are 
together, and how they both love you ; you were hie star in 
life. But what was that misery about his watch? you 
forgot to wind his watch, and how miserable it made you." 
Now this was a fact known to no living being but myself. 
I had woimd the watch the night I lost my husband, and 
resolved never to let it go down again ; but more than a 
month afterwards, when I returned to our old home, I forgot 
to wind it one night, and my agony was great when I dis- 
covered it in the morning, but I never mentioned it even to 
my husband's sister, who was in the house with me. A 
great deal more took place at the seance interesting both to 
myself and others. 

"A month later I attended a second stance. Some re^ 
markable things were told by Mr. Home, who was in a state 
of trance, to a lady present of her departed friend. He then 
went to the opposite end of the room, and she remarked to 
me, in a low voice, * How very wonderful, he has been dead 
these thirty years,' when Mr. Home, whom I thought much 
too distant to hear, called out, in a loud thrilling voice, ' Do 
not say dead ; he is not dead, but gone before ; nothing kills 
but sin, sin kills through the devil, but those who live in 
Christ will never die.' Mr. Home came soon afterwards to 
me, and said that my dear husband and his mother (the Mary 
spoken of before) were behind my chair, and that both 



208 TESTIMONY OF MBS. 8. 

longed to comfort me. He gave me the following message : 
— * My own Adelaide, aJl your prayers are heard, your pure 
thoughts seen, your patience and loving hope. We are not^ 
nor shall we be separated, we are one in Ohbist.' 

" He then went on to say that I had had a conversation 
with my husband eight months before, and that he blessed 
me for that conversation now ; that we were sitting in our 
drawing-room at home, he in his arm-chair and I in mine, 
with the little round table between us, that I had just been 
reading a chapter in the New Testament, and that on that 
night the angel of the Lord had laid his hand upon my 
husband's brow, and he had faded from that time. I re- 
member perfectly the conversation alluded to, and it was a 
very remarkable one. I had been reading prayers to the 
servants, and we were sitting in the manner described, and 
talked for more than an hour before going to bed. These 
are facts for which I can vouch, and though my name is 
not given here, Mr. Home will give it to any one wishing to 
be convinced. To me the comfort has been unspeakable; 
but did I believe Spiritualism to be sinful or forbidden by 
our Lord, nothing would induce me to have anything to 
say to it, but I believe the reverse is the case. I have felt 
more at peace, more perfect trust — utter childlike trust — in 
my God and Saviour, than I have ever done before. Mr. 
Home told me that my dear husband was always with me 
when I prayed, and I feel that he is so, through Christ." 

We spent July, August, and September, 1861, at Folke- 
stone. My power had left me, but my wife continued to see 
spirits daily. We went to Brighton, where we remained 
tiU the month of December. Late in the evening of one 
day in November, my wife being in bed, I was in the 
drawing-room with a friend, when a strange chill air seemed 
to surround us, and creaking noises were heard. In fact, a 
feeling of great discomfort came upon us both, when we 
heard my wife knocking on the floor, this being her signal 
of requiring my presence. I ran up stairs, and she said, 
" Daniel, do not leave me ; there is a spirit-presence in my 



BETUEN TO LONDON. 209 

room which is strange and unpleasant to me. I feel as if 
something had occurred, or was about to happen." I re- 
mained with her, but we no longer felt or heard anything of 
the kind. In the morning on the breakfast-table was a letter 
from a much loved friend, announcing the departure of a 
son under most painful circumstances. It was evident that 
it was his spirit who had been with us during the previous 
evening. 

We came back to town in December ; and in January, 1862, 
the power returned in me, but far from strongly. On one 
occasion whilst we were seated, the strange trembling so 
often noticed was felt- in the table, and almost simultaneously 
with it I heard the nursery-bell ring. I heard the servant 
go upstairs, the nursery being on the third floor, and soon 
she came with a message from the nurse requesting my 
presence. I went, and foxmd the child sitting in his bed, 
and a look of alarm on his face. He said to me, " Oh, 
papa, I don't like to have my bed rocking," I thought that 
he might have a headache, or some slight indisposition, 
which might have caused a giddiness, but he said he was 
very well. I remained a short time with him, and then 
joined my friends in the diuwing-room. In about half an 
hour the trembling was repeated, and again the nursery-bell 
rang. I had to go to him, and I found that the rocking 
had been more violent than before, and he begged me to 
lay down with him till he got to sleep. I did so, and 
in about ten minutes he was fast asleep. The spirits 
then told us that they had " accidentally caused his bed to 
shake." 

Another instance of this trembling being felt outside the 
room has occurred within ten days previous to my writing 
this. A deaf and dumb maid living in a house where I was, 
aiid knowing nothing either of my presence, or of spi- 
ritual manifestations, said to the young lady, her mistress, 
on her going upstairs to her, " How you must have been 
dancing, all of you, for the whole house has been shaking so 
that I have been made quite dizzy." We were upon the 

p 



210 BETUBH TO LOKPOH. 

ground floor, and the principal manifestation that evening 
was the strong vibration of the room* She was npon the 
third floor, and the honse is a large well-bnilt one in one of 
the best parts of Kensington. 



211 



CHAPTEE Xn. 

IN MEMOBIAM. 

On the 20tli of February, 1862, we left England for the 
Chateau Laroche, near Perigueux, the residence in the south 
of France of my brother-in-law. I need not to go through 
again the scenes of those last days on earth of the dear one 
whom it has pleased God to take away, in the spring time 
of her life, to the bright morning land. It is weU with her 
there, and she is only more than ever my hope, and my 
beaming guiding-star. My good guardian angel, watching 
over her dear child, and me, her husband — separated, but 
not lost — in spirit more than ever present. In G-od's loving 
mercy we shall meet again, and find our lasting habitation 
in the eternal inner world. 

Let me have the pleasure of adding the sweet tribute to 
her memory of Mrs. Howitt, which gives such few facts as 
may be made public of one who amongst her friends required 
no written words to be embalmed in their hearts* best 
memories. To those who knew her not, these words will 
serve to show the effect of spiritual communion during the 
long stages of disease, and the placid contemplation of the 
passing onward, by one to whom the bright spirit-world has 
become a calm reality, from her frequent intercourse with 
the good angels who had gone before. 

p 2 



212 nr mxmobiax. 



In Memoria/m. 

"Madame Alexandrina Home, the wife of Mr. Daniel 
Dunglas Home, passed from earth on the 3rd July last, at 
the Chateau Jjaroche, Dordogne, France, the residence of her 
sister, the Countess Luboff Koucheleff Besborodka, in the 
twenty-second year of her age. 

" Mrs. Home was the youngest daughter of the General 
Count de Kroll, of Eussia, and she was the god-daughter of 
the late Emperor J^Ticholas. She was educated at the In- 
stitute of St. Catherine at the same time as the present 
Countess de Momy, of Paris. Mr. Home, who had been at 
several of the Courts of Europe, where he was received with 
much distinction, and where the marvellous phenomena 
which occur in his presence excited deep attention, was at 
Eome in the spring of 1858 for the benefit of his health, 
and there first saw the lady who became his wife on the 1st 
of August of that year. The marriage took place* at St. 
Petersburgh, and was celebrated in the presence of M. Alex- 
andre Dumas, who went from Paris on purpose to be present, 
and to ofl&ciate as godfather to Mr. Home, according to the 
custom of the Eomish Church. The Emperor Alexander also 
was represented there by two of his aides-de-camp whom he 
sent as groomsmen, and the Emperor presented to Mr. Home 
on the happy occasion a magnificent diamond ring of great 
value. On the birth of the only child of the marriage, a 
son, the Emperor evinced his continued interest in Mr. and 
Mrs. Home by presenting to them as a memento of his 
friendship a ring of emeralds and diamonds. Mr. and Mrs- 
Home thus commenced their married life with all the out- 
ward accessories of station and wealth, together with hosts 
of friends, as a matter of course, whilst the measure of their 
liappiness was completed by that calm domestic bliss, which 
is the purest source of earthly enjoyment, and to which her 
kindly and tender nature contributed its full share. They 
could not but be happy, for their affection was pure as it 
was sincere, and when their umon was blessed by the birth 



IN MEMOBIAK. 213 

of their little son, there was no more to hope for, but to 
bring him up worthily to be a partaker in their happiness. 

" In the midst, however, of these bright human hopes and 
anticipations, the decree went forth that her days were 
numbered. About eighteen months before her departure, 
the physician who was called in on the occasion of some 
trifling illness, as it was supposed, detected, to the surprise 
and grief of all who loved her, such undoubted signs of 
consumption in her constitution that in all human pro- 
bability her life could not be of long duration. Such tidings 
to a young and happy woman, surrounded by everything 
that can make outward existence attractive, would, in ordi- 
nary circumstances, have come as the direst calamity ; but 
it was not so in the case of Mrs. Home. Though at that 
time only in her twenty-first year, she received the an- 
nouncement with entire calmness. G-od's will be done, was 
the cheerful law of her life, and He who had hitherto made 
that life so rich would not fail, she knew, to continue His 
love and mercy to her in that higher life to which He was 
calling her. Nothing but the deepest religious conviction 
of the Supreme Wisdom and Love can bring the human soul 
into a state of submissive obedience to His otherwise appa- 
rently severe and mysterious decrees. Let us now see how 
the Divine Father had led and schooled His young disciple 
into that highest, that profoundest of all knowledge, the 
firm possession of which makes obedience and submission 
easy, and keeps the soul calm and even joyful under the 
most startling and adverse circumstances. We shall then 
in part, if not fully understand whence came the strange, 
and apparently almost unnatural, willingness to depart from 
the earthly life amidst its most attractive circumstances. 
She was a deeply -helievrng Sj^ritualist. G-od's love had made 
known to her the reality of the spiritual world ; she had 
been permitted to solve the great, mysterious, and perplexing 
riddle of the Hereafter, and so loyal was she to the know- 
ledge which had thus been given her, that she was ready to 
attest it in life or in death. Like all experienced Spir 
ritualists she knew that the outward life, be its term longer 



214 IS KEMORIAK. 

or shorter, is but a scbool in wliich God wills to train the 
immortal being to a higher knowledge — ^is but a pilgrimage, 
or pass^e by which He is willing to conduct it to another 
and a still happier home. She knew that in that other 
state of existence, though undotbed by the body, and appa- 
rently separated from the beloved on earth, she might yet 
be permitted to watch oyer and love them as their guardian 
angel, and to be in the close companionship of those who 
had gone before — of those living and glorified spirits who 
should lead her to the throne of grace and love inef&ible. 
If it be the highest heroism to meet death with unflinching 
courage, this amiable, gentle, young woman, this child of 
affluence and fortune, displayed an almost unequalled degree 
of this noble quality of mind, and so doing, proved how 
strong and all-sustaining in life's extremity is the faith of 
the Christian Spiritualist'. 

''The first startling intelligence that her disease was 
mortal came to a mind so prepared with wholly abated 
force. The sting was already taken from death; nor 
through the whole after-trials and sufferings of her physical 
frame did she lose her equanimity or firm confidence in the 
future. This calmness, indeed, became the most striking 
feature of her long and painful illness. It was so profound 
and marked as to be almost phenomenal, and was noticed aa 
such by the eminent physicians who attended her in London, 
and subsequently in fVance, as well as by the Bishop of 
Perigueux, who frequently visited her during the latter part 
of her earthly life. The last sacraments were administered 
to her by the Bishop, who wept like a child, and who 
remarked that 'though he had been present at many a 
death-bed for Heaven, he had never seen one equal to hers.* 

*' Whilst residing in London the remarkable spiritual 
g^s and manifestations exhibited through Mr. Home, and 
the many attractive qualities of his young and lovely wife 
had naturally gathered around them a large circle of friends 
to whom the singular exhibition of her calmness, her meek* 
ness, her playful, winning ways, even in the midst of suffer- 
ing, and the joyfulness with which she anticipated her 



IN MEKOBIAM. 215 

remoYal, were, if possible, a greater anomalj, and almost, 
for the time, cast into the shade the wonderful gifts and 
powers of her husband. If Addison called to his death-bed 
his infidel son-in-law that, witnessing his composure, he 
might learn with how much calmness a Christian could die, 
so here disbelieyers in Spiritualism looking on this gifted 
young woman, saw with wonder not only how calmly, but 
how joyously the Christian Spiritualist could face death. 
Another equally anomalous feature to the Protestant Chris- 
tian was not to find in her the self-depreciation of the 
guilt-awakened sinner; not to hear on her lips the usual 
phraseology of the dying but suffering saint; no mention 
made of the atonement ; of the works of grace on her soul, 
of the suflEerings of a crucified Saviour for her sake. Never- 
theless, with the simplicity of a little child who accepted the 
Divine love as his natural gift, she loved the Saviour and 
rejoiced in Him, responding to His unspeakable goodness 
with the whole allegiance of her soul, but Gethsemane and 
the bloody hill of the crucifixion were not present to her 
mind ; the agony and woe had no place in her experience. 
She was, it must be remembered, the embodiment of her 
own Greek church ; of that church in which she was edu- 
cated, the most ancient faith of which has ever recognized 
the Saviour less as the Crucified than the Arisen, the 
triumphant over suffering, sin, and death, as the Victor 
not the Victim, as the Lord who said to his chosen ones, 
* Rejoice that your names are written in heaven V Such, it 
appears to me, who frequently saw her during this portion 
of her short stay on earth, was the fact which made her 
relationship to the Saviour so joyous, whilst her own single- 
heartedness left her free from all established phraseology or 
any wish to produce effect, and these happily combined with 
her actual knowledge of spiritual existence, strengthened 
that remarkable state of calmness and cheerfulness with 
which she waited the close of her outward life. Her Saviour 
had indeed risen for her, and with the unquestioning, xm- 
reasoning faith of a loving, obedient child-like nature, she 
was not only willing to go when He called her, but cheer- 



216 IN MEHOBIAM. 

fully to give up all at His bidding, knowing that a more 
enlarged, a more glorious sphere of usefulness and angel 
ministration would be unfolded to Her through His loye, 
and that thus she should be enabled more tenderly and more 
effebtiiallj to watch over and become a blessing to the be- 
loved ones whom she left behind. 

" During that short but interesting time of her declining 
health in London, her remarkable unselfishness became ano- 
ther endearing characteristic to all her friends. She made, 
even amidst her increasing sufferings, constant exertions to see 
them, and s&tnces were held frequently at the house where 
she and her husband were then residing, in which she took a 
glad part. On these occasions many wonderful and touchingly 
l>eautiftd incidents occurred, and few, if any, who thus met 
her, but retain with tender and affectionate regard some 
tender flower or fragrant spray — ^an emblem of herself — 
which was presented to her by spirit-hands, as a little me- 
mento for each. 

" In the earlier stages of her disease her spiritual per- 
ception began to open, and she commenced, and throughout 
her illness continued to see and conyerse with the denizens 
of the spiritual world. Her most frequent visitants were 
her mother and her father, and the mother of her husband. 
From them she received the most loving messages of endear- 
ment, and the most cheering words of welcome to her spirit 
home. She was also constantly attended by a veiled female 
spirit, whom she did not know, but whose very presence 
gave her great comfort, though she never spoke, nor raised 
her veil. Mr. Home was told that this kind guardian spirit 
would continue veiled until the last, when the veil would be 
thrown over her own new-born spirit, to keep her from the 
sight of the tears and mourning aroimd the bed where her 
body would be lying. Through the six months previous to 
her passing away, the veil was slowly and gradually gathered 
from the feet of the guardian spirit towards the head, until 
two days before her release, when for the last time she saw 
the spirit with the veil gathered in the form of a crown 



IN MEMOBIAM. 21? 

about her head, but with one part, as a festoon, still con- 
cealing her face. 

" On one occasion several persons, who were in the room 
with Mrs. Home, saw the band and arm of the spirit to the 
shoulder, the appearance being that of a luminous body, 
most beautifully perfect in form, and covered as if with a 
veil of light. 

" The eminent composer, M. Magnus, of Paris, came to 
the Chateau Laroche to * visit Mrs. Home during the last 
three weeks of her earthly stay, and almost daily she asked 
him to play for her, and whilst lying placidly listening to 
his music, her face assumed an almost beautiful expression 
whilst she kept time to the music with her hands. On one 
occasion she said, when he had finished playing, 'Those 
strains are Yerj beautiful, but I shall soon hear more beau- 
tiful still.' 

" Frequently also, during the first three months and the 
last two months of her iUness, not only she, but all those 
about her, heard delicious strains of spirit music, sounding 
like a perfect harmony of vocal sounds. During the last 
month, also, the words were most distinctly heard, and were 
recognized as the chants for the dying used in the Eussian 
Church. 

" She departed on Thursday, the 3rd of July, and on the 
Saturday morning following, her little boy, of three years 
old, said to his nurse on awakening, * I have seen mamma, 
and she is quite well now. She is with Q-od, and she told 
me that my uncle G^regoire, and my aunt Luba are my god- 
father and godmother, and that they would be very good to 
me, and I must love them.' 

" At her funeral, the service at which was performed by 
the vicar-general of the diocese, four of the men-servants of 
her sister asked each to lead a horse of the hearse to the 
burial-ground, saying that they coxdd not allow hired per- 
sons to be near the dear body of her who had ever had a 
kind word and a loving look for all. The peasantry, instead 
of, as is customary, throwing earth upon the coffin, first 



218 IK MEMOBIAM. 

covered It with flowers— fittest for her last garment, and 
fittest for the expression of their love. 

" Such is a brief memorial of a short but lovely life on 
earth. But short as it was, rarely has the oldest and most 
experienced orthodox Christian attained to a higher degree 
of religious consciousness, clearness and trust in God, than 
did this young and attractive woman, by those very means 
and teachings which the religious world as yet so much 
ignores and questions. 

"Blessed, however, be God the Saviour for every fresh 
revelation and manifestation of his Divine life, and for every 
renewed teaching of his Holy Spirit. 

" Maby Howitt." 

» 

To another esteemed friend, Mrs. S. 0. HaU, also well- 
known for her true woman's heart, and for her power of ex- 
pressing the best feelings of the soul, I am indebted for her 
written impressions of my dear wife, and in which she em- 
braces a most interesting account of her observations of the 
phenomena : 

"It pleased God to remove from this life, only a few 
months since, a much beloved lady, who during her brief 
residence among us, entwined herself closely round the 
hearts of her and her husband's many friends — ^I speak of 
one, dear to us as " Sacha," the wife of Mr. Daniel Home. 

" Educated as befitted a Eussian lady of rank, she was 
still more richly endowed by . grace, feeling, a peculiar 
beauty, which I may term loveliness, and a sweet simplicity 
of nature, that rendered her transparent and pure as crystal ; 
she was also gifted with a rare appreciation of the beau- 
tiful. Her interest in, and admh-ation of whatever was excel- 
lent in art, was the result of innate perception, not often 
met with where observation has not been matured by age ; with 
a refinement on the natural quickness of her sex — she felt 
while others reasoned — indeed, all her perceptions were 
vivid, and she was entirely feminine. 

" When first I knew her, she was radiant with life and joy 



IN MEMOBIAM. 219 

— ^a playful girl numbering just twenty years, and yet in the 
fuU tide of her sweet joy — ^loving her husband, her child, her 
friends, and feeling keenly how much she was beloved. If 
something touched her quick sympathies, her eyes in a mo- 
ment grew deep and dark, her sweet lips quivered, and the 
girl became at once the deep-hearted, tender, earnest, woman. 
Wise too she was, and in her wildest moods something 
would come of wisdom, a sentence or even a single word, so 
ftdl and suggestive. 

" Soon, however, it became certain to us, that this sweet 
happy life was not to remain here, and to none was this so 
evident as to herself ; not for a moment did she doubt that 
she had received her warning for the * better land.' She 
would talk with her husband, and with all of us, her friends, of 
her passing away, believing — ^nay, knowing — that she would 
be permitted still to watch over her child, to companion her 
husband, to communicate with her friends ; and this in cahn, 
unconstrained cheerfulness, surrounded by the happy reali- 
ties of a loving life, and loving, as he deserved, her devoted 
husband. It was almost impossible to hear the full sweet 
tones of her voice, to feel the affectionate pressure of her 
little hands, observe the life-full expression of her face, and 
realise her approaching change, when the mortal shall have 
put on immortality. 

" How bitterly hard it is to feel, however we may repeat 
the words, * Thy will be done !' As the spring advanced 
each time I saw her, I perceived some change, and yet the 
' change ' could not be defined, it was more in her spirit 
than her person. Suffering, wearied the young fragile form, 
and she longed to be away, she desired freedom from the 
body's pain, from the perpetual endurance of restlessness — 
she craved to be out of the body that she might be in the 
spirit. She talked about this change as invalids talk of 
change of air, and with hope in her beaming face. I 
confess that I do not comprehend this phase of mind — ^I 
look forward with joy to meet those I have loved and lost 
from earth, and I look to the time when those I leave 
behind will, trusting in the same Mediator, bend before the 



212 IN MEMOSIAM. 



In Memoriam. 

"Madame Alexandrina Home, the wife of Mr. Daniel 
Dunglas Home, passed from earth on the 3rd July last, at 
the Chateau Laroche, Dordogne, France, the residence of her 
sister, the Countess Luboff Koucheleff Besborodka, in the 
twenty -second year of her age. 

" Mrs. Home was the youngest daughter of the General 
Count de Kroll, of Eussia, and she was the god-daughter of 
the late Emperor Nicholas. She was educated at the In- 
stitute of St. Catherine at the same time as the present 
Countess de Momy, of Paris. Mr. Home, who had been at 
several of the Courts of Europe, where he was received with 
much distinction, and where the marvellous phenomena 
which occur in his presence excited deep attention, was at 
Rome in the spring of 1858 for the benefit of his health, 
and there first saw the lady who became his wife on the 1st 
of August of that year. The mamage took place* at St. 
Petersburgh, and was celebrated in the presence of M. Alex- 
andre Dumas, who went from Paris on purpose to be present, 
and to officiate as godfather to Mr. Home, according to the 
custom of the Romish Church. The Emperor Alexander also 
was represented there by two of his aides-de-camp whom he 
sent as groomsmen, and the Emperor presented to Mr. Home 
on the happy occasion a magnificent diamond ring of great 
value. On the birth of the only child of the marriage, a 
son, the Emperor evinced his continued interest in Mr. and 
Mrs. Home by presenting to them as a memento of his 
friendship a ring of emeralds and diamonds. Mr. and Mrs. 
Home thus commenced their married life with all the out- 
ward accessories of station and wealth, together with hosts 
of friends, as a matter of course, whilst the measure of their 
happiness was completed by that calm domestic bliss, which 
is the purest source of earthly enjoyment, and to which her 
kindly and tender nature contributed its full share. They 
could not but be happy, for their affection was pure as it 
was sincere, and when their unioi^ was blessed by the birth 



IN MEMOBIAK. 213 

of their little son, there was no more to hope for, but to 
bring him up worthily to be a partaker in their happiness. 

" In the midst, however, of these bright human hopes and 
anticipations, the decree went forth that her days were 
numbered. About eighteen months before her departure, 
the physician who was called in on the occasion of some 
trifling illness, as it was supposed, detected, to the surprise 
and grief of all who loved her, such undoubted signs of 
consumption in her constitution that in all human pro- 
bability her life could not be of long duration. Such tidings 
to a young and happy woman, surrounded by everything 
that can make outward existence attractive, would, in ordi- 
nary circumstances, have come as the direst calamity ; but 
it was not so in the case of Mrs. Home. Though at that 
time only in her twenty-first year, she received the an- 
nouncement with entire calmness. God's will be done, was 
the cheerful law of her life, and He who had hitherto made 
that life so rich would not fail, she knew, to continue His 
love and mercy to her in that higher life to which He was 
calling her. Nothing but the deepest religious conviction 
of the Supreme Wisdom and Love can bring the human soul 
into a state of submissive obedience to His otherwise appa- 
rently severe and mysterious decrees. Let us now see how 
the Divine Father had led and schooled His young disciple 
into that highest, that profoundest of all knowledge, the 
firm possession of which makes obedience and submission 
easy, and keeps the soul calm and even joyful under the 
most startling and adverse circumstances. We shall then 
in part, if not fully understand whence came the strange, 
and apparently almost unnatural, willingness to depart from 
the earthly life amidst its most attractive circumstances. 
She was a deeply -heUeving Spiritualist. God's love had made 
known to her the reality of the spiritual world ; she had 
been permitted to solve the great, mysterious, and perplexing 
riddle of the Hereafter, and so loyal was she to the know- 
ledge which had thus been given her, that she was ready to 
attest it in life or in death. Like all experienced Spir 
ritualists she knew that the outward life, be its term longer 



214 IN MEMOBIAM. 

or shorter, is but a school in which Gtod wills to train the 
immortal being to a higher knowledge — is but a pilgrimage, 
or passage by which He is willing to conduct it to another 
and a still happier home. She knew that in that other 
state of existence, though unclothed by the body, and appa- 
rently separated from the beloved on earth, she might yet 
be permitted to watch over and love them as their guardian 
angel, and to be in the close companionship of those who 
had gone before — of those living and glorified spirits who 
should lead her to the throne of grace and love ineffable. 
If it be the highest heroism to meet death with unflinching 
courage, this amiable, gentle, young woman, this child of 
affluence and fortune, displayed an almost unequalled degree 
of this noble quality of mind, and so doing, proved how 
strong and all- sustaining in life's extremity is the faith of 
the Christian Spiritualist*. 

*^The first startling intelligence that her disease was 
mortal came to a mind so prepared with wholly abated 
force. The sting was already taken from death; nor 
through the whole after-trials and sufferings of her physical 
frame did she lose her equanimity or firm confidence in the 
future. This cahnness, indeed, became the most striking 
feature of her long and painful illness. It was so profound 
and marked as to be almost phenomenal, and was noticed as 
such by the eminent physicians who attended her in London, 
and subsequently in France, as well as by the Bishop of 
Perigueux, who frequently visited her during the latter part 
of her earthly life. The last sacraments were administered 
to her by the Bishop, who wept like a child, and who 
remarked that Hhough he had been present at many a 
death-bed for Heaven, he had never seen one equal to hers.' 

** Whilst residing in London the remarkable spiritual 
gifts and manifestations exhibited through Mr. Home, and 
the many attractive qualities of his young and lovely wife 
had natiurally gathered around them a large circle of friends 
to whom the singular exhibition of her calmness, her meek- 
ness, her playful, winning ways, even in the midst of suffer- 
ing, and the joyfolness with which she anticipated her 



IN MEMOSIAM. 215 

removal, were, if possible, a greater anomalj, and almost, 
for the time, cast into tlie shade the wonderful gifts and 
powers of her husband. If Addison called to his death-bed 
his infidel son-in-law that, witnessing his composure, he 
might learn with how much calmness a Christian could die, 
so here disbelievers in Spiritualism looking on this gifted 
young woman, saw with wonder not only how calmly, but 
how joyously the Christian Spiritualist could face death. 
Another equally anomalous feature to the Protestant Chris- 
tian was not to find in her the self-depreciation of the 
guilt-awakened sinner; not to hear on her lips the usual 
phraseology of the dying but suffering saint; no mention 
made of the atonement ; of the works of grace on her soul, 
of the suflEerings of a crucified Saviour for her sake. Never- 
theless, with the simplicity of a little child who accepted the 
Divine love as his natural gift, she loved the Saviour and 
rejoiced in Him, responding to His unspeakable goodness 
with the whole allegiance of her soul, but Gethsemane and 
the bloody hill of the crucifixion were not present to her 
mind ; the agony and woe had no place in her experience. 
She was, it must be remembered, the embodiment of her 
own Greek church ; of that church in which she was edu- 
cated, the most ancient faith of which has ever recognized 
the Saviour less as the Crucified than the Arisen, the 
triumphant over suffering, sin, and death, as the Victor 
not the Victim, as the Lord who said to his chosen ones, 
* Rejoice that your names are written in heaven V Such, it 
appears to me, who frequently saw her during this portion 
of her short stay on earth, was the fact which made her 
relationship to the Saviour so joyous, whilst her own single- 
heartedness left her free from aU established phraseology or 
any wish to produce effect, and these happily combined with 
her actual knowledge of spiritual existence, strengthened 
that remarkable state of calmness and cheerfulness with 
which she waited the close of her outward life. Her Saviour 
had indeed risen for her, and with the unquestioning, un- 
reasoning faith of a loving, obedient child-like nature, she 
was not only willing to go when He called her, but cheer- 



224 IN MEMOBIAM. 

medium, one in all respects above suspicion; we were a 
mixed party of twelve or fourteen at that dinner-table : 
and while questioning myself how it was possible that 
educated and intelligent men could receive as testimony of 
spiritual presence the 'raps' and 'tilts/ which though I 
could not account for, I did not believe in, my attention was 
awakened by the young lady's saying that a spirit was 
present, who desired to communicate with me. She described 
a presence which I recognised, and then gave me a 
message, a portion of which could only be intelligible to us 
two — the spirit who gave it, and I who received it. This 
was so positive and conclusive to me, that believing as I 
always did that such a power existed, I was forced to believe 
that there was truth in mediumship, and that here was the 
means used for communicating from the spirits of those gone 
before to those wTio still lingered in the flesh. 

" This was the confirmation of a blessed reality to me, but 
to others, particularly to one other at that table, it was 
thrice blessed ; his past had been clouded with doubts as to 
the existence of spirit-life, he had refused to believe what he 
could not understand; his lamp of reason, trimmed with 
ever so much care, only made the darkness, so to say, more 
visible. Faith was to him a dead letter. His heart ached 
to believe, but, like Thomas, he wanted *. a sign.' The first 
* sign' was given him that night, and since then directed 
invariably to the book which leads to life eternal, he goes 
on his way rejoicing. 

"Only those who have stumbled amid the doubts and 
uncertainties of a sadly unsatisfying materialism, can 
comprehend the inspiration which the assurance of future 
existence, amended, enlightened, purified, gives. I am 
frequently asked, what is the use of Spiritualism? My 
answer invariably is, that I believe it is permitted to check 
the growth of materialism. No one, however sceptical, can 
receive messages from the spirit-world, knowing their truths 
and disbelieve in spirit-life, in a hereafter, in immortality ! 
This is the key-stone to a belief in the Holy Scriptures. 
Scores^ hundreds, thousands, at this day say as I did, ' Why 



IN MEMOSIAM. 225 

don't people believe ? They have Moses and the prophets.' 
I believed on Bible testimony. Yes, but those thousands 
do not believe in Bible testimony ; they ask for a sign. Will 
they not seek * the sign,' and investigate its truth ? Would 
not they give all they possess for a * sign' proving immor- 
tality ? Do they not desire intercourse which, sanctified by 
prayer, will (I have often seen it done) direct them to par- 
ticular passages in Holy Writ, which for the first time 
they comprehended, and which became sanctified to them ? 
And again, there are many who receive Spiritualism as a 
fact ; well-minded, timid persons, who fear that Spiritualism 
is dangerous. I have seen quite enough to convince me that 
carnal-minded people bring their evil angels with them into 
many a circle ; and they suggest what is evil more palpably 
than in those silent whispers that lead as surely astray. 
* By their fruits ye shall know them.' We know that * lying 
spirits' endeavour to distil their poison into the purest 
hearts ; and be sure they are on the watch around the circle 
assembled for manifestations, and can only be ' sent behind' 
by faithful prayer; but every Christian knows that he is 
perpetually beset by such like. 

"Spiritualism, as we know it, commences each stance 
with prayer ; and usually (though not invariably) has reason 
to finish with praise. I would not join a circle where this 
was neglected. I could name many who have been lifted 
out of the slough of materialism by, in the first instance, 
seeing the marvellous manifestations that arise from Mr. 
Home's mediumship, and the mediumship of the young lady 
I have already mentioned. Eidicule on the one side, and 
asserverations on the other, cannot alter facts. There must 
be a coin to create a counterfeit, and, doubtless, charlatanism 
has found its way into * circles,' whence it has been driven 
as soon as discovered. 

" Mediumship is a mystery we cannot fathom, nor under- 
stand why the power should be delegated to one more than 
to another. We have the highest authority for the belief 
that there are * diversities of gifts' all from * the same spirit ;* 
and amongst them is specified, * To some the discerning of 



226 IS MEMOSIAM. 

spirits.* Why should one have ' the gift of healing/ and not 
that of * divers kind of tongues/ or * the seeing of spirits.' That 
is one of those marvels we shall comprehend when we no 
longer see through a glass darkly. I can only add, with no 
large amount of humility, that ' mediumship' is not the only 
thing I do not understand. 

'' But I must cease here. I do not attempt to give any 
further description of the * manifestations' I have witnessed, 
the wonders I have seen, and examined, and questioned, and 
after my examinations and questionings, could not doubt 
their bein'g permitted for the one purpose, which I again 
repeat, is the mission of high and holy Spiritualism. 

" I do not feel called upon to write in defence of Spiritual- 
ism, nor to quote from the volume of facts by which that de- 
fence is to be sustained, and its truth proved. I have no talent 
for argument or controversy ; there are others who have, and 
are willing, as well as able, to be its defenders. I believe it 
to be sanctioned by God, and that therefore it must be for a 
good purpose ; and I content myself, as I must content those 
who may read what I have written, with expressing my con- 
viction that Spiritualism is Tbuth." 



227 



CHAPTEE XIII. 

CONCLUSION. 

I CAME to England from Perigueux, and have been since 
engaged, as much as my time and my health would permit, 
in having seances, at which most of the manifestations re- 
corded in the previous pages of my work have been repeated. 
I have been several times lifted a short distance from the 
ground, but not so high as to float above the heads of the 
persons in the room. Many persons have seen and been 
convinced of the occurrence of what they previously deemed 
impossible, and have had their faith in immortality renewed 
and strengthened when all other means had fedled in making 
them believe. On the 20th January, 1863, I went to Paris 

for a short visit to my friend. Count de K , and there 

also the same phenomena have occurred in the presence of 
great numbers of persons. I have also been frequently re- 
ceived by their Majesties at the Tuileries, and by the Impe- 
rial Princes and the nobility of France, who have shewn a 
great interest in investigating the manifestations ; but 
enough has been given of the facts to enable the reader to 
form an opinion of them, and there is no need to go into 
further details. 1 have already told the main incidents, and 
must now leave them to be judged and analyzed by the va- 
rious classes of persons who may devote their thoughts to the 
subject. 

It would be hard if I were held answerable for facts 
which occur in connection with my physical organization, 

<i2 



228 ^ CONCLUSION. 

and towards whicli I am, in mind and intent, wholly passiye, 
even if there were any liarm in them. As there is no harm 
in them beyond their disturbing certain prepossessions, on 
the contrary, some likelihood of good; and as they are 
independent of all moral action on my feet ; I trust that 
with the candid and enlightened I shall be held, as I am, 
innocent. 

It will have been observed that they began with me when 
I was an infant in my cradle, and that they have since, with 
few exceptions, formed a part of my daily life. Their range 
includes nearly all the phenomena which are known under 
the incorrect name of Modem Spiritualism. I say the name 
is incorrect, because there is not one of them which is new, 
and which noiay not be traced in every age of which we have 
any record preserved to us. The great difference, however, 
is, that during the last two centuries a great change has 
come over the belief of the world, and by a kind of re-action, 
men have reversed the belief which previously existed as to 
the supernatural. Up to two centuries ago, it was not con- 
sidered a point of wisdom to disbelieve in such manifestations 
and actings from the inner world, but on the contrary, such 
disbelief was reprehended as unscriptural and wrong. 

I am, however, fortunately relieved from the necessity of 
shewing at great length the prevalence of spiritual action and 
phenomena in the past ages of the world, by the publication of 
the elaborate and almost exhaustive work of Mr. W. Howitt,* 
to which I refer my readers, in the full confidence that in his 
pages they wiU find not only the facts but the arguments 
necessary to shew that the spiritual has been ever present, 
and that nothing has occurred to me but what has been fre- 
quently observed before. I trust that this work will be 
extensively read, in order that much of the present ignorance 
on the subject may be dispelled, and that the minds of men 
may be led to inquire more deeply into this great subject. 

* '* The History of the Supernatural in all Ages and Kations, in all 
Churches, Christian and Pajgan, demonstrating a Uniyersal Faith.*' By 
William Howitt, Author of " Colonization and Christianity.'* London, 
Longman and Co. 



CONCLUSION. 229 

As a brief summary of the same subject, I may likewise 
point to an article in the Appendix which has been framed 
by a friend from a series of historical notes, gathered by a 
literary gentleman who has, with great kindness, placed 
them at my friend's disposal. 

It will be readily admitted that such facts as those I have 
described, are calculated to throw great light upon the 
hitherto neglected science of pneumatology ; and that it is 
in the direction pointed out by such facts, that further search 
is to be made into the hidden questions of the soul, and its 
relations with the body and external things. For such a 
study, no facts, however small or apparently trivial, can be 
dispensed with. 

Of those which are of a physical kind, such as the moving 
of furniture, the raps, the raising into the air, or levitation, 
and similar classes of phenomena, they are to be investi- 
gated, and their uses ascertained by the man of science and 
the philosopher. At present such persons have fixed 
a priori that such things have never occurred, and are 
impossible and absurd, and for this very reason, if for no 
other, it will be admitted that they are of the highest use in 
order to correct such notions of the relations between spi- 
ritual forces and natural things. There is no study which 
could be of such value to philosophers, as that of facts now 
known to thousands, but which their present philosophy 
deems impossible. For their philosophy must be radically 
defective when that which they say is impossible, is never- 
theless of daily occurrence. The physical side, therefore, of 
these phenomena is to be studied by students of experi- 
mental science in order to enlarge their views of material 
forces, and if this can be effected, as it has been in so 
many instances, by the movement of tables, and by the rap- 
ping sounds, and by the raising of bodies into the air, with- 
out touch or contact, they will no longer complain of the 
triviality of such phenomena. Indeed, already so little are 
they trivial or unimportant, that the noted men of science, 
such as the Faradays and Brewsters, have gone out of their 
way to inveigh against their possibility, and to bestow the 



230 COlfCLUBIOH. 

name of creduLoiui dtipes upon those who have publicly stated 
what they have seen and heard. The very denial of these 
things by these men, and by the mass of the pubUc, shows that 
they are not triyial to them, but that they are really of the 
utmost importance. For why are they denied by the men of 
science, but that they contradict all their previous knowledge of 
the laws of nature, upsetting " the philosophy of a lifetime," 
and are therefore impossible to them, until they enlarge the 
present boundaries of their knowledge, and ^d out those 
higher laws under which these become not only facts, but 
possible fia^s. 

There is of course no religious revelation, properly so 
called, in such phenomena, any more than there is in the phe- 
nomena of gravitation, electricity, or magnetism, but that has 
not latterly been a reason why such laws should be repudiated^ 
At the institution of the present Boyal Society, there was a 
great outcry on the part of the religious persons of that-day, 
against the formation of such a society, on the ground that 
it was blasphemous and wicked to attempt to inquire into 
what were called God's mysteries ; and it was said that men 
already had their bibles, and knew enough, and ought not 
to seek to know more. Such is not the general opinion 
now-a-days, and the time is not far distant, I hope, when 
the noianner in which this subject has been received, will in 
the same way be brought forward to prove the same great 
truth, that all knowledge is to be pursued, and that we 
need not fear that; we shall ever have too much of it. Ood 
is able to preserve His own mysteries, and whatever is pos- 
sible for us, * it is our right and duty to search into and 
fathom, and to bring forward as a part of the general 
stock of human intelligence. I anticipate, therefore, that 
when the real men of science find these faxsta not to be im- 
possible, they wiU by their aid, be led into a knowledge of 
higher laws, which at present they conceal from themselves ; 
and that a greater discovery awaits their research than that 
which has adorned the name of Newton, who did not find it 
a trivial fact when an apple fell before his eyes. 

As to the other great division of these phenomena, into 



CONCLUSION. 231 

sncli as are of a mental kind, and betoken intelligence, a 
mucli lalrger question is raised. 

The former class of manifestations we could only com- 
mend to the scientific investigator ; but so soon as we are 
assured of the fact of manifestations directed by intelligence, 
we are put upon an inquiry of another kind. We are not 
aware of any other being but man, who is endowed with the 
kind and amount of intelligence which is disclosed in many 
of the manifestations, and we are at once brought to the 
inevitable conclusion that such intelligence is exhibited by 
human beings, either in the body, or out of the body. 
Neither the od force, nor electricity, nor magnetism, nor any 
of the imponderable forces, bas ever yet been detected in 
betraying intelligence, or in carrying on a conversation 
between themselves, or in taking part in one with others, 
and though they are largely engaged in their proper 
offices throughout nature, and in that epitome of it which is 
contained in a man, yet there is nothing human nor intelli- 
gent about them in the true sense of the words. 

We feel instinctively, therefore, when we meet witb this 
intelligence, that we are dealing with a man either embodied 
or disembodied. The wonders of clairvoyance and internal 
perception (if we are to consider these as faculties inherent in 
the living, independent of spiritual aid,) may account 
for some of the phenomena; but there are others which 
my reader will not have failed to note, which infallibly 
point to the intelligence being that of disembodied 
human beings. The intelligence declares itself to be 
a human being, and gives information known to it alone. 
It says that it is a spirit, and in the spiritual world. 
It is seen as a spirit, and recognised as that of one loved on 
earth. It says that its office is to be our guardian, and 
helper, and comforter. It tells us of things that have passed, 
of things that are happening in distant parts, of things that 
are to come. Can this be ourselves, who unknowingly 
counterfeit such a presentment, and tell this false intelli- 
gence to ourselves ? No such quality or power has hitherto 
been recognized or known to exist in the mind of man. No 



232 CONCLUSION. 

such quality lias been recognized or known to exist in tlie 
od force, nor in electricity, nor in magnetism, as the 
ability to tell either truth or falsehood. Whence is it 
then? Is the question so entirely a new one as to the 
existence of spirits and their power to communicate with 
man, as that we can ignore it or deny its possibility P Are 
we •inevitably thrown upon finding some natural hypo- 
thesis to account for such facts ? and are we as Christians, 
to say like Sir David Brewster, that " Spirit is the last thing 
ril give in to." I thank G-od that I have been taught 
otherwise, and I refer to the bible, and to the spiritual 
books, and authorities, and beliefs of all ages and of all 
churches, in support of my belief. Let us then say at once 
that there are spirits and a spirit world, and see what diffi- 
culties are thrown in their way by the men of science, who 
deny them all power of communicating with this world. 

It would indeed be a very difficult matter to conceive by 
what possible means a spirit could satisfy some minds of its 
actual presence. " Suppose," says the Eev. Charles Beecher, 
" a departed spirit, the wife of Oberlin, for example, were 
permitted to attempt to converse with her husband ; not to 
establish a new revelation, not to display divine power, but 
merely to exercise such potentiality as might pertain to a 
disembodied spirit, for her own and her husband's edification 
and satisfaction. How could she do it in the face of the 
apneumatic theories. She speaks to him, moves his furni- 
ture, touches his dress, his person ; — all automatic action of 
some brain en rapport with that locality. She sings, plays 
the guitar or piano, takes a pencil and wril;es, and he sees 
the pencil in free space tracing his wife's autograph — ^auto- 
matic still. She shows him a cloudy hand, nay a luminoiis 
form, and smiles and speaks as when in life — that is an opti- 
cal illusion, or hallucination, or a particle exhaled from her 
body has impinged on his sensitive brain, and created a sub- 
jective vision. She communicates facts past, present, and 
future, beyond the scope of his knowledge ; — ^that might be 
clairvoyance or cerebral sensing, Alas, then, what could she 
do more P She must retire baffled, and complaining that 



eoNCLTJSioN. 233 

he had become so scientific that all communication with him 
was impossible,** 

It is, therefore, very difficult to influence some minds by 
any proof that could be brought forward, for want of their 
having any point which such proof can penetrate; but 
assuredly such proofs as I have given in my book, of the 
existence of spirits, and of their ability to communicate with 
us, are of the kind most likely to be useful to them. 

It is to be observed also, that such persons, to be consis- 
tent, must, and too many of them do, apply the same argu- 
ment to all analogous facts in the past, as well as to those 
occurring at this day. On this all-important point the Eev. 
W. Beecher says truly, " Whatever physiological law accounts 
for these phenomena in all ages, will in the end inevitably 
carry itself through the whole bible, where it deals with the 
phenomena of soul and body as mutually related, acting and 
re-acting. A large portion of the bible, ks prophecies, 
ecstacies, visions, trances, theophanies, angelophanies, are 
more or less tinged with odic characteristics. The physio- 
logy, the anthropology of the bible is highly odic, and must 
be studied as such. As such it will be found to harmonize 
with the general principles of human experience in such 
matters in all ages. If a theory be adopted everywhere else 
but in the bible, excluding spiritual intervention in toto, and 
accounting for everything physically, then will the covers of 
the bible prove but pasteboard barriers. Such a theory will 
sweep its way through the bible and its authority, and its 
inspiration will be annihilated. On the other hand, if the 
theory of spiritual intervention be accepted in the bible, it 
cannot be shut up there, but must sweep its way through 
the wide domain of 'popular superstitions,* as they are 
called, separating the element of truth on which those 
superstitions are based, and asserting its own authoritative 
supremacy." 

It is on such grounds as these amongst many others, that 
I have found as a fact that these manifestations have a reli- 
gious tendency, and bearing on the subject of religion of the 
most important kind. I do not claim for them the character of 



234 GONCLTJSIOK. 

a new revelation, but that they are a recurrence in our day of 
some of the phenomena of a very old one ; and that it is not a 
small matter to be able to convince many who stand in need of 
such knowledge and conviction, of the immortality of the 
soul, of its immediate and continued existence in the spi^ 
ritual world, and of its power of communion and communi- 
cation with us who are left behind. These are not new 
doctrines, but old facts, and whatever spirits may tell us, we 
must judge of, as we judge the other affairs of life, by its 
own intrinsic evidence, and not rely on the in&Jlibility of 
what comes from the other side merely because of its spi- 
ritual origin. For instance, suppose that if any one of the 
spectics of the day should go to swell the numbers of the 
spiritual world, and should come to me in vision, or through 
any of the numerous modes which I have narrated in the 
previous pages, and should tell me that there are no spiritual 
laws, and no spiritual world, and no spiritual beings, and 
that the many phenomena I have experienced throughout 
my life did not occur to me, and that such never occurred to 
others, and were in fact impossible, I should not believe what 
he said, merely because of its spiritual origin, for the reason 
that it would be opposed to the experience and knowledge 
of myself, and of many others in the present and former 
ages of the world. I should, as I do, on the contrary, re- 
cognize in the very fact of his being able to come and give 
me this false information, matter of the utmost importance 
to religious truth, directed to a point which of all others in 
this materialistic age, the most requires assurance and con- 
firmation. 

The fact, therefore, of any intelligence whether true or 
false, coming from the inner world, is one from which con- 
clusions must be deduced, the value of which it is impossible 
to over estimate. The real and intimate communion of 
saints may be difficult to realize, on account of our own 
state being too low for such holy communion, but we need 
not abandon to scepticism the whole spiritual world, and 
deny the possibility of one of the most glorious tenets of 
Christendom* 



APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX. 



SIB DAVID BEEWSTEE. 

I have alluded, at page 63, to the first sitting which I 
had with Sir David Brewster, and to his disingenuous 
statements when he afterwards wrote on the subject in the 
" Morning Advertiser." To those who only Imow Sir David 
Brewster by general report as one of the noted scientific 
men of the day, it may be useful to say, that his reputation 
is not of the highest order amongst persons of his own class, 
and especially amongst those with whom he has been brought 
into closer contact, and who have more accurately guaged 
the calibre of his mind. It would be no disgrace to him 
that he is not the most learned and scientific man of his 
age, if he did not pretend to be so, and back up his claims 
by means which more honourable, and really first-rate men, 
would not descend to. 

So far as Spiritualism is concerned, I should be very glad 
for my own sake if he were really what he wishes the public 
to believe him to be, for then I should have the satisfaction 
of knowing that the world's best man had been discomfited 
and put to the rout in his attack upon the possibility of 
these phenomena. I cannot in fairness claim so important 
a victory. Sir David Brewster is really not a man over 
whom victory is any honour, for his whole conduct sub- 



APPENDIX. 

sequent to the sittings was not only dishonest, but childish, 
and altogether unworthy of such reputation as he has 
acquired. The correspondence is amusing, as showing 
the shifts to which he was ultimately driven, when the 
great man, or wind-bag, as Carlyle would more properly 
call him, could only say for himself, that 'Hhe table 
actually rose, as appeared to me, from the ground." It 
is clear that if the subject is to be further investigated from 
the scientific side, it must be done by a very different man 
from Sir David Brewster. 

As I have said, the sitting was asked for by Lord 
Brougham ; and it was only afber I had made an appoint- 
ment with his Lordship, that he requested to be allowed to 
bring Sir David Brewster, to which I assented. On that 
day, and for a few days previously, my cough had been 
most troublesome, and, indeed, it had deprived me of sleep 
during nearly the whole of the previous night. When Lord 
Brougham and Sir David were announced,*! was lying down 
on my bed, and, hastily dressing, I went to meet them. At 
my request, Mr. Cox was present during the seance ; and I 
requested, as I always do, that Lord Brougham and Sir 
David should make search for any machinery which might 
be concealed on my person or about the table. This they 
would not do, but expressed rather a wish to see what- 
ever might occur. We sat at a common card-table. Lord 
Brougham being on my left, Mr. Cox on my right, and Sir 
David Brewster opposite. Eappings were heard on the 
table, and also on the floor ; and I several times, as is my 
constant practice with those who are present for the first time, 
requested both Sir David and Lord Brougham to look under 
the table, and to make every examination which they could. 

We had been seated nearly half an hour, and various phe- 
nomena of the usual kind had occurred, when I was seized 
with a violent fit of coughing, and my mouth, as I thought, 
filled with blood, as occurred frequently to me about that 
time. On searching my pockets, I found that my handkerchief 
must have been left in my bed-room, and I hastily quitted 
the company and ran up stairs, found my handkerchief, and 



CONTEOVEBST WITH BREWSTEB. 239 

saw that it was not blood, but only tbe usual tubercular 
expectoration of persons in a decline. I do not think more 
than three minutes could have elapsed from the time of my 
leaving the room till my return. The reader will see what 
use this simple circumstance was put to afterwards by Sir 
D. Brewster. I proposed, when I came back, to see if any- 
thing more would occur, and asked pardon for my abrupt 
withdrawal, without mentioning the cause of it. It was 
8vr David hvmaelf who requested that we should try a circular 
dining-table which stood in the room, and I assented, only 
too pleased to see that he really wished to investigate. 
There were several other manifestations, but nothing that to 
me was at all uncommon, though it was enough to astonish 
extremely both Lord Brougham and Sir David, who, on 
leaving, thanked me for what they had seen, and expressed 
to me in the most earnest way their great astonishment. 
I must now let Sir David's letter, as first published that 
autumn in the "Morning Advertiser," while I was in 
Florence, speak for itself. I would not reply at that time to 
his misrepresentations, as I have always kept aloof from 
controversy, knowing that my good friends who had satisfied 
themselves of the truth of the phenomena would most likely 
say all that was necessary, and if they did not I was 
quite content. However, Sir David and his "conjectures** 
met with a hearty and truthful response from them. 

A somewhat incorrect account of what had occurred at 
this stance was published in an American paper, and was 
c3pied into the " Morning Advertiser," and this was the 
occasioD of Sir David Brewster writing his first letter, which 
was preceded by some remarks of the editor. In this letter 
Sir David had got over his previous astonishment, and was 
only anxious to save his reputation from the thought of 
having been ever a believer in what he had solemnly said to 
Mr. Cox, upset the philosophy of fifty years. It was un- 
fortunately for him a small matter that in doing this he had 
to distort and deny the facts which had occurred, and to call 
me publicly an impostor. 



240 APPENDIX. 

The newspaper says : 

" We publish the following letter from Sir David Brewster, 
relative to the article which we lately quoted from an 
American paper, in which Lord Brougham and Sir David 
were represented as believing in spirit manifestations. This 
alleged belief was illustrated by certain things which were 
said of the two distinguished individuals in connexion with 
a display of ' spiritual' agency in July last, at Ealing. In 
giving insertion to the letter of Sir David Brewster, we 
deem it due to Lord Brougham, with whom Sir David's 
name was associated in the * New York Spiritualist,' to say, 
that we have received a private letter from his Lordship, 
written in the most courteous terms, in which he repudiates 
the idea of his being a believer, in the sense ascribed to him, 
in spiritual manifestations. The Noble Lord, in proof of 
this, mentions that he had written something on the subject, 
and that he hoped to be able to procure a copy of the pro- 
duction from his residence in Orafton-street, in which case 
he would transmit it to us. At present his Lordship is 
residing at Brougham Hall, in Westmoreland. We are 
anxious, and that anxiety will be shared by the public, to 
see the more ample exposition of his views on the subject, 
which he promises to send us : — 

To the Editor of the Morning Advertiser, 

" Sir, — ^I beg to thank you for the copy of the paper 
which you have been so good as to send me. In consequence 
of being from home I have not seen it ; but I presume it is 
either the * Spiritual Telegraph,' or the * Christian Spiritual- 
ist,' which you have forwarded to me, and which I had 
previously seen. 

'^ It is quite true, as stated by Mr. Home in these papers, 
that I wrote an article (not in the ' EdinBurgh,' but in the 
* North British Eeview'), in which I have denounced table- 
moving and spirit-rapping in the strongest terms, and it is 
also true that I saw at Oox's Hotel, in company with Lord 
Brougham, and at Ealing, in company with Mrs. Trollope, 



CONTEOVBEST WITH BBEWBTEB. 241 

seyeral mechanical effects whicli I was unable to explain. 
But though I could not account for all these effects, I never 
thought of ascribing them to spirits stalking beneath the 
drapery of the table; and I saw enough to satisfy myself 
that they could all be produced by human hands and feet, 
and to prove to others that some of them, at least, had such 
an origin. 

" Were Mr. Home to assume the character of the Wizard 
of the West, I would enjoy his exhibition as much as that of 
other conjurors ; but when he pretends to possess the power 
of introducing among the feet of his audience the spirits of 
the dead, of bringing them into physical communication 
with their dearest relatives, and of revealing the secrets of 
the grave, he insults religion and common sense, and tam- 
pers with the most sacred feelings of his victims. 
" I am, Sir, ever most truly yours, 

**I). Bbewsteb. 

« Oamock House, Sept. 29, 1866." 

I will show afterwards that in his denial of the power of 
spirits to communicate with those on earth, Sir David has 
not always been consistent, and that he has even, when it 
suited his purpose, threatened those with whom he has had 
scientific differences, with the visits of the spirits of those 
who have lost their lives, because Sir David's alleged inven- 
tions have not been adopted. I should not give so much 
prominence to the false position taken up by Sir David on 
this subject, were it not that it excited a great deal of at- 
tention at the time, and that he was the first person who 
publicly attacked me in England, and that he did so by mis- 
statements and falsehoods of the gravest kind. It has been 
no uncommon thing with Sir David to have his personal 
statements proved false, and in this case he was severely 
handled and brought to book by several of the correspon- 
dents who gave their testimony against him in the news- 
papers. If Sir David Brewster's character for veracity 
suffered severely by the investigation that ensued, that is 
his affair, and not mine. It has frequently been said by 



242 APPENDIX. 

reputed men of science, that these phenomena could only be 
accurately examined and analyzed by persons of high scien- 
tific attainments. 1 believe that this is not so, and that the 
nature of their minds disqualifies them rather than otherwise 
for the investigation, because the facts of Spiritualism are out 
of the region of Physics ; but the reader will agree with me 
that if scientific men only are competent persons for the 
task of iavestigation, they require a further faculty, namely 
the honesty which is requisite in accurately stating what 
they see, whether or not it should upset the philosophy of 
a lifetime. In this last faculty Sir David Brewster has re- 
peatedly been proved to be sadly deficient, and, moreover, 
as will be afterwards seen, he made no respectable figure in 
this matter, even as a man of science, for in place of giving 
accurately observed facts, he could, after taking a week for 
consideration, bring out nothing but " conjectures," and the 
crudest disbelief even of his own eyesight. 

I should have mentioned that, after the first sitting at 
Cox's Hotel, Sir David came to Ealing where I was then 
residing, and again saw in the company of Mr. and Mrs. 
TroUope, and of several other persons, some more manifesta- 
tions of spirit power, but it was not true, as stated by the 
Editor of the " Advertiser," that Lord Brougham was with 
him there. On his visit to Ealing, Sir David again ex- 
pressed himself as perfectly satisfied with what he saw, and 
shook me warmly by the hand, saying that he was " proud 
of being a countryman of mine," and he left all the com- 
pany in the opinion that he was thoroughly convinced by 
what he had seen. The document which Lord Brougham 
said would be forthcoming from Grafton Street, has never 
made its appearance, and I am informed that it was kept 
back at the request of Sir David, on account of its not 
being at aU in agreement with the statements which he was 
successively driven to publish, in order to extricate himself 
from the dilemma in which he so incautiously placed him- 
self. I think that in justice to me. Lord Brougham ought 
to have published it, even at the price of covering his friend 
Sir David with confusion. 



CONTROVEESY WITH BREWSTBE. 243 

Sir David Brewster's letter brought an immediate answer 
from Mr. Cox, wlio had been present during the whole of 
the investigation, and who was able to remind Sir David of 
the inaccuracies and misrepresentations of his letter. 

" Sir David, — I have read with much surprise your letter 
to the * Morning Advertiser.' 

" You say, * you saw enough to satisfy you that the effects 
could aD be produced by human hands and feet, and to 
prove to others that some of them at least had such an 
origin.' The subject is one of deep interest, and having 
seen these phenomena under various circumstances, and being 
much startled by the reality of all I saw, I was glad of the 
opportunity of bringing two master minds to the investiga- 
tion of it. 

" Without unnecessarily alluding to what I understand you 
saw at the house of an equally disinterested investigator — for 
be it remembered that all who have received Mr. Home in this 
country, are above suspicion, and desire to arrive only at the 
truth — I beg to recall to your memory what took place at my 
house when Lord Brougham and you did me the favour to 
accept my invitation, and I will appeal to your fairness and 
candour to say whether there was a possibility — even if you 
could do me the injustice to suppose that I was in collusion 
with Mr. Home — of the various acts being effected by tJie 
homda or feet of any one present, 

" I have a distinct recollection of the astonishment which 
both Lord Brougham and yourself expressed, and your re- 
markable and emphatic exclamation to me : — * Sir, this 
upsets the philosophy of fifty years,' 

" I think I am justified in asking whether you have had 
any opportunity since of farther investigation, and if not, 
how you can reconcile the tenor of your letter with the facts 
I have stated ? 

" K the subject be beyond your powers of reasonable ex- 
planation, leave it to others ; for it is not just or generous to 
raise the cry of imposture in a matter you cannot explain, 
taking advantage of your character to place humbler men 

s 2 



244 APPENDIX. 

in a false position, by allowing the world to tliink they were, 
by ignorance or design, parties to so gross and impudent a 
fraud. 

" I am, Sir David, 

" Your obedient servant, 

"WiiiiiiAM Cox. 
«* Cox*B Hotel, Jermyn Street, Oct. 4, 1855." ' 

Mr. Coleman also wrote to Sir David reminding him of 
what he had said in his presence, and which materially 
differed from what Sir David stated in his letter. 

To the Editor of the Morning Advertiser, 

" Sir, — Sir David Brewster has addressed a letter to you 
attributing the phenomena which he recently witnessed in 
private, in the presence of Mr. Home, to mechanical agency. 
Spiritual manifestations, as they are called, are therefore, in. 
his opinion, a mere trick and imposition on the credulous. 

" Sir David, though he had at least two interviews, and 
was invited to further investigation— -one with his friend 
Lord Brougham in the open day — ^failed to discover the 
mechanism by which these marvels were produced. 

'^ This does not say much for his sagacity ; and it will not 
be wondered at that humbler individuals, not committed to 
a life of false philosophy, should be ready to accept the 
evidence of their senses, when, by the exercise of their ordi- 
nary faculties, they can give no reasonable explanation of the 
marvellous facts which are brought before them. 

" T am one of a hundred who has recently witnessed these 
manifestations, at the house of my friend and neighbour, 
and I am sure that they were neither effected by trick, nor 
were we under a delusion. Sir David Brewster is of an- 
other opinion. 

" I was as much astonished at what I saw, felt, and heard 
in the presence of Mr. Home, as any man ; and when I 
found that Sir David Brewster had been a witness of similar 
phenomena at the house of my friend, I called upon Sir 
David, accompanied by my neighbour, and in the course of 



CONTBOVEaSlZ WITH BREWSTEB. 245 

conversation, Sir David said, that what he and Lord Brou- 
gham saw * was marvellous— quite unaccountable/ 

" I then asked him, * Do yon, Sir David, think these 
things were produced by trick ?' 

" * No, certainly not,' was his reply. 

" * Is it delusion, think you ?* 

" ' No, that is out of the question * 

"'Then what is it?' 

" To which he replied, * I don't know ; hut sprit is the 
last thing I will give in to* 

" I added, * I can well understand the difficulty which a 
man like you would have in pronouncing an opinion on a 
subject which, if it be what it appears, would upset in a 
moment the philosophy of your life.' 

" Sir David then told me what he and Lord Brougham 
had witnessed. * The table — a large dinner-table, I believe 
— moved about in the most extraordinary manner; and 
among other things, a large accordion was conveyed by an 
invisible agency to my hand, and then to Lord Brougham's, 
in which, held by his Lordship's right hand, apart from any 
person, it pla/yed an air throughout* 

" Is it reasonable — astounding as the fact may be — is it, I 
ask^ reasonable to attribute such a performance to mechani- 
cal agency, beyond detection, or that it should have been 
effected by Mr. Home's foot? 

" No, Sir ; a better explanation must be found to entitle 
Sir David Brewster's present opinion to the slightest respect. 
I say present opinion, for it certainly was not Sir David's 
opinion when I spoke to him ; and I do not suppose he has 
seen anything of the subject since. 

" Sir David's letter, and his sneer at the Wizard of the 
West, are, in my opinion, only worthy of his countryman, 
the Wizard of the North. 

" I enclose my card, which of course you are at. liberty to 
hand to Sir David Brewster. 

" I am. Sir, yours, &c. 
" A LovEB OF Truth, though no Philosopheb. 

"Octobers, 1855.'» 



246 APPENDIX. 

To this letter Sir David sent the following answer, which 
is BO remarkable as coming from one of the much vaunted 
men of science, who alone are said to be competent to inves- 
tigate and come to exact conclusions on the subject, that I 
am glad of the opportunity of reproducing all the important 
part of what he intended in the interests of his fifty years of 
so-called philosophy, to be an elaborate refutation of all 
spiritual action in this world of matter. After alluding to 
the conversation with Mr. Colenia.n at the Athenseum Club, 
he says : — 

" I may once for all admit that both Lord Brougham and 
myself freely acknowledged that we were puzzled with Mr. 
Home' 8 performances y and could not accov/nt for them. Neither 
of us pretend to be expounders of conundrums, whether 
verbal or mechanical ; but if we had been permitted to take a 
peep beneath the drapery of Mr. Cox's table, we should have 
been spared the mortification of this confession. I come 
now to the facts of the case. 

" 1. It is not true, as stated by you, that a large dinner- 
table was moved about at Mr. Cox's in the most extra- 
ordinary manner. 

" 2. It is not true, as you state, that a large accordion 
* was conveyed by an invisible, or any other, agency into 
my hand.' I took it up myself, and it would not utter a 
sound. 

" 3. It is not true that the accordion was conveyed into 
Lord Brougham's hand. It was placed in it. 

" 4. It is not true that the accordion phvyed an air through* 
out, in Lord Brougham's hands. It merely squeaked. 

" 5. It is not true, as stated in an article referred to by Mr. 
Home, that Lord Brougham's * watch was taken out of his 
pocket, and found in the hands of some other person in the 
room.' No such experiment was tried. 

" 6. It is not true, as stated by Mr. Cox, that I said that 
Mr. Home's experiments * upset the philosophy of fifty yejms.* 
These are the words of Mr. Coleman, used, as he alleges, by 
himself, and very untruly put into my mouth by Mr. Cox. 

"Although I have not appealed to Lord Brougham's 



C0NTB0VEES1E WITH BBEWSTBE. 



247 



memory iu reference to these statements, I have no doubt 
tliat his Lordship would confbrm, were it necessary, all that 
I have said. 

" In reply to Mr. Cox, I may take this opportunity to 
answer his request, by telling him what I have seen, and 
what I think of it. At Mr. Cox's house, Mr. Home, Lord 
Brougham, and myself, sat down to a small table, Mr. Home 
haying previously requested us to examine if there was any 
machinery about his person, an examination, however, which 
we declined to make. When all omr hainda were v/pon the 
table noiees were hea/rd — rcuppinga in abtmdarice ; and, finally, 
when we rose wp the table actually rose, as aj>pea/red to me, 
from the ground. This result I do not pretend to explain ; but 
rather than believe that spirits made the noise, I tvill 
conjectv/re that the raps were produced by Mr. Home's toes, 
wMch, as will be seen, were active on another occasion ; or, 
as Dr. Schifi' has shown, ' by the repeated displacement of 
the tendon of the peronevs longus muscle in the sheath in 
which it slides behind the external maUelous;* and rather 
than believe that spirits raised the table, I will conjecture 
that it was done by the agency of Mr. Home's feet, which 
were always below it. 

" Some time after this experiment, Mr, Home left the room 
amd returned : probably to equip himself for the feats which 
were to he performed by the spirits beneath a large round table 
covered with copious drapery, beneath which nobody was allowed 
to look. 

" The spirits are powerless above board. Besides the ex- 
periments with the accordion, already mentioned, a small 
hand-bell, to be rung by the spirits, was placed on the 
ground, near my feet. I placed my feet round it in the 
form of an angle, to catch any intrusive apparatus. The 
bell did not ring; but when taken to a place near Mr. 
Home's feet, it speedily came across, amd placed its handle in 
my hand. This was amusing, 

*^ It did the same thing, bunglingly, to Lord Brougham, 
by knocking itself against his Lordship's knuckles, and, 
after a jingle, it fell. How these effects were produced 



248 APPENDIX. 

neither Lord Brougham nor I could say, hut I conjecture that 
they mouy he produced hy machinery attached to the lower 
extremitiea of Mr. Home, 

" The s^nce was more curious at Ealing, where I was a 
more watchful and a more successful obseryer. I will not 
repeat the revelations made to Mrs. TroUope, who was there, 
lest I should wound the feelings of one so accomplished and 
sensitive. I remember them with unmingled pain. The 
spirits were here very active, prolific in raps of various 
intonations, making long tables heavy or light at command ; 
tickling knees, male and female, but always on the side next 
the medium; tying knots in handkerchiefs drawn down 
from the table, and afterwards tossed upon it ; and prompt- 
ing Mr. Home, when he had thrown himself into a trance, 
to a miserable paraphrase on the Lord's Prayer. During 
these experiments I made some observations worthy of 
notice. On one occasion the spirit gave a strong afi&rmative 
answer to a question by three rape, unusuaDy loud. They 
proceeded from a part of the table exactly within reach of 
Mr. Home's foot, and I distinctly saw three movements in 
his loins, perfectly simultaneously with the three raps. In 
these experiments all hands are supposed to be upon the 
table. One of the earliest experiments was with an ac- 
cordion, held below the table, in Mr. Home's right hand. 
It played, very imperfectly, two tunes asked for by the 
company. During the succeeding experiment, Mr. Home 
continued to hold the accordion, as we thought, but he 
might have placed it on the ground, and had his right hand 
free for any sub-tabular purpose. A handkerchief had been 
previously taken down to be knotted, and the fact had been 
forgotten, amid the interest of other experiments; a knot 
could not be tied by feet, nor, we think, by the one hand of 
Mr. Home, below the table. The handkerchief, however, 
was, to our great surprise, after half an hour's absence, 
tossed upon the table with five knots, dexterously executed. 
How were those knots tied, unless by spirits ? During the 
half hour's absence of the handkerchief, Mr. Home, three or 
four times, gave a start, and looked wildly at the company. 



C0NTROYES81E WITH BSEWSTEB« 249 

saying, ' Dear me, how the spirits are troubling rae/ and at 
the same time putting down his left hand as if to push away 
his tormentors, or soothe the limb round which they had 
been clustering. .He had, therefore, both his hands beneath 
the table for a sufficient time to tie the five marvellous 
knots. 

" I offer these facts for the spiritual instruction of yourself 
and Mr. Cox, and for the information of the public. Mr. 
Faraday had the merit of driving the spirits from above the 
table to a more suitable place below it. I hope I have done 
something to extricate them from a locality which has 
hitherto been the lair of a more jovial race. 

" I am, Sir, yours, &c., 

"D. Bbewstee. 

« St. Leonard's College, St. Andrew's, Oct. 9, 1855." 

Mr. Coleman at once answered Sir David by writing to 
the Editor as follows : — 

To the Editor of the Morning Advertiser. 

" Sir, — If the letter which Sir David Brewster has ad- 
dressed to me through your columns, had not contained 
grave imputations on my veracity, I should have left so 
disingenuous and contradictory a document to be dealt with 
by the gentlemen who are more especially concerned. 

" Sir David, it wiU be recollected, first wrote a letter on 
the subject of these manifestations, so glaringly opposed to 
his recent expressions, that I could not resist reminding him 
of the contradiction. 

" Sir David says I have completely misstated the con- 
versation, and though most reluctant to be placed in a posi- 
tion of direct antagonism with a man of Sir David's position, 
I am bound in self-defence to reassert that my statements in 
your journal of the 4th inst., are true, word for word, as nearly 
as one can record from memory, and fortunately for me, I 
have a witness in the person of a gentleman whose character 
stands at least as high as Sir David Brewster's, and he folly 
confirms me. 



2S0 APPENDIX. 

" Sir David says : — ' I may once for all admit that both 
Lord Brougham and myself freely acknowledge that we were 
puzzled with Mr. Home's performances, and could not 
account for them. But if we had been permitted to take a 
peep beneath the drapery of Mr. Cox's table, we should have 
been spared the mortification of this confession.' 

" Sir David, in his former letter, does attempt to account 
for them by mechanical agency, and by human hands and 
feet — ^lie saw enough ' to prove to others that some of them, 
at least, had such an origin.' Sir David altogether omits to 
name that, at Mr. Eymer's house, on a subsequent occasion, 
he did ' take a peep beneath' the table, putting his head 
under for some little time. No drapery was there : it was a 
large uncovered and very ponderous dinner-table, which was 
actively moved up and down, and was also, as he himself says, 
* made heavy or light at command.' Is not the omission of 
this fact, ebnd his imputation on Mr. Cox, most unfair and 
disingenuous ? 

'^ Sir David admits that, when all their hands were on 
the table at Mr. Cox's, rappings were heard in abundance, 
' and when we rose up, the table actually rose, as appeared 
to me, from the ground.' 

" * This result I do not attempt to explain,^ Ac, &c. 

" Appeared to rise from the groimd. Did it rise ? "Why 
make a question of so plain a fact? Did the table rise 
from the ground when all around it were standing with their 
hands upon it ? if it did, can Sir David seriously impoae 
upon himself the belief, for he certainly will not impose upon 
any thinking man, that this effect was produced by mechani- 
cal contrivance beyond detection, or by the foot of Mr. 
Home? 

" There is yet another point in Sir David's conduct which 
will have its weight, and at which, I doubt not, every Eng- 
lish gentleman will feel surprised, and that is, that he should 
be so wanting in honest candour as never to have breathed 
a suspicion to either of the two disinterested searchers afber 
truth who had paid him the compliment of specially inviting 
him to their houses to investigate these phenomena, of their 



CONTBOVEaSY WITH BBBW8TEB. 251 

being duped, nor to liave explained to them how it was all 
done. 

" To Mrs. TroUope, in particular, for whom Sir David 
expresses so much consideration, and who, I suppose, is 
Hot, even in his opinion, a party to the fraud, he should, in 
common courtesy, have whispered, *This is an insult to 
religion and common sense.' See the consequence. By 
locking in his secret breast so much important information, 
he allows this accomplished and sensitive lady to come, as 
she did, expressly from Florence to London, to see the 
wonders which a friend told her she should witness in this 
young man's presence ; and after staying at Mr. Rymer's 
house for several days to investigate the subject, she actu- 
ally left England in the full belief of the reality of aU she saw, 
and she is at this moment entertaining this arch-impostor as 
her guest at Florence. Sir David may get the majority of 
the world to applaud him for his present manly exposure of 
things * he cannot explain,' but they will not forgive him 
for allowing this accomplished lady to be so shamefully 
cheated. 

"I forbear to follow Sir David further in his tortuous 
treatment of this subject. It is evident that the harder he is 
pressed, the further he will recede: I therefore most wil- 
lingly leave him and the subject of spirit manifestations in 
the hands of your able correspondent, ' Vebax,' whose re- 
markable letter appearing in your columns at the same 
moment, will serve to heal the wounds so unscrupulously 
inflicted by Sir David Brewster. 

" Trusting that I have not in your opinion forfeited the 
right, I beg still to describe myself, 

" A LovEB OF Tbuth, though no Philosopheb." 

Mr. Cox further impugned Sir David's veracity in the 
following letter. 

" Sir, — I trouble you with a brief reply to Sir David 
Brewster's denial of the expression used on the occasion of 
his visit to my house, in company with Lord Brougham, for 



252 APPENDIX. 

the purpose of investigating the remarkable phenomena ex- 
hibited in the presence of Mr. Home. 

" I assert that both Sir David and Lord Brougham were 
astonished at what they heard, saw, and felt. I assert that 
Sir David, in the fullness of his astonishment, made use of 
the exact expression, * This upsets the philosophy of fifty 
years.' I assert that no hindrance existed to Sir David 
looking under the drapery of the table ; on the contrary, 
he was so frequently invited to do so by Mr. Home, that I felt 
annoyed at Mr. Home's supposing that either he or I could be 
suspected of any imposition. I assert that Lord Brougham 
was so much interested that he begged me to arrange for 
him another sitting, and said he would put off every en- 
gagement for the purpose of further investigation. 

" Sir David may not have the moral courage to express 
publicly his real opinions upon a subject in which he knows 
the world is not prepared to believe ; but it is uiipardonable 
in him to deny the facts as they occurred ; to descend at the 
same time to banter and ridicule, and to impugn^ the in- 
tegrity, of men whose characters are as dear to them as Sir 
David's public reputation is to him ; for in this correspon- 
dence it is his own public reputation alone, that he seems 
anxious to protect. 

"I am, Sir, yours, Ac, 

" W. Cox. 

« Jennyn-Btreet, Oct. 15, 1865." 

Mr. TroUope also wrote to the newspaper as follows : — 

"Florence, Oct. 23, 1855." 

" My dear Sir, — ^I have read with much regret the letters 
from Sir David Brewster, printed in the * Morning Adver- 
tiser,' to which you have called my attention. And although 
it is extremely painfal for me to come out from my tranquil 
obscurity into the noise and wholly inconclusive bickerings 
of paper warfare, it is impossible for me, when called on, to 
refuse my testimony to facts, of which I was a witness. 

''If I had the presumption to enter into an argument 



CONTBOVEESY WITH BREWSTEB. 253 

with Sir David Brewster on the subject matter of his letters, 
I might adduce a long series of observations, and be led 
into an extended discussion of inferences, and balancing of 
probabilities. But I deem it more useful to the cause of 
truth, that I should confine myself to such facts, as I can 
affirm vnth accuracy, and perfect certainty, but which yet 
seem incompatible with some statements of Sir David Brews* 
ter's letters. 

"Sir David writes, that when he was present together 
with Lord Brougham and Mr. Cox, at Cox's Hotel, for the 
purpose of witnessing the phenomena produced or caused by 
Mr. Home, it was * not true that a large dining-table was 
moved about in the most extraordinary manner.' Further 
on, he states, with reference to some other appearances, that 
the table * was covered with copious drapery, beneath which 
nobody was allowed to look* — (These italics are Sir David's.) 

"ITow, I can say nothing respecting things which took 
place on that occasion. But it is evident that these state- 
ments should not have been made, or, in any case, not made 
unaccompanied by further particulars, if Sir David had pre- 
sent to his mind the facts, to which I am about to testify. 

" I declare that at your house at Ealing, on an evening sub- 
sequent to Sir David Brewster's meeting with Mr. Home at 
Cox's Hotel, in the presence of Sir David, of myself, and of 
other persons, a large and very heavy dining-table wae moved 
about in a most extraordinary mxinner ; tbat Sir David was 
urged, both by Mr. Home and by yourself, to look under 
the cloth and under the table ; that be did look under it ; 
and that while he was so looking, the table was much 
moved ; aud that while he was looking, and while the table 
was moving, he avowed that he saw the movement. 

" Sir David Brewster further writes, that on this same 
evening *the spirits were very active, prolific of raps of 
various intonations, making tables heavy or light at com- 
mand, tickling knees male and female, but always on the 
side next the medium.' I was repeatedly touched on either 
knee, and on the lower leg ; but I experienced no sensation 
at all akin to tickling. Neither did any of those present, 



254 



APPENDIX. 



"who were similarly touclied, say that they were, or give any 
token of having been tickled. Moreover, I affirm that Sir 
David Brewster, who sat in the circle next to me, declared 
to me at the time of being touched, that he was touched on 
both knees ; on the side farthest from the medium therefore, 
as well as on the side next him. Nor did he then speak of 
being tickled, 

"Indeed the phraseology of this part of his letter is 
matter of the greatest astonishment to me. For it should 
seem wholly impossible that a man of Sir David Brewster's 
character, standing, and social position, in the grave and 
public examination of a question, on which a young man's 
honour and character depend, if no yet higher interests are 
concerned, should intentionally seek to prejudice the issue in 
the minds of his readers by a vulgar jest, puerile to those 
earnest inquirers who disbelieve the spiritual origin of these 
phenomena, inexpressibly revolting to those who believe 
therein, and which, falling from less respected lips, would by 
all be termed mere ribaldry. 

" I must add one more remark on two other passages of 
Sir David* s letter. The party present at Mr. Cox's, he 
writes, * sat down to a small table, Mr. Home having pre- 
viously requested us to examine if there was any machinery 
about his person; an examination, however, which we de- 
clined to make.' A few lines further on he writes, with 
reference to the phenomena which then occurred, *I con- 
jecture that they may be produced by machinery attached to 
the lower extremities of Mr. Home.' Now, I submit that 
these two statements should not stand together. It appears 
to me both morally unjust, and philosophically unsound in 
the examination of evidence, first to decline the proffered 
means of ascertaining the absence of machinery, and then to 
assume its presence. 

"I should not, my dear Sir, do all that duty, I think, 
requires of me in this case, were I to conclude without 
stating very solemnly, that after very many opportunities of 
witnessing and investigating the phenomena caused by, or 
happening to Mr. Home, I am wholly convinced; that be 



G0NTB0VE9SY WITH BREWSTEB. 255 

what may their origin, and cause, and nature, they are not 
produced by any fraud, machinery, juggling, illusion, or 
trickery, on his part. 

" I am, my dear Sir, 

" Always most faithfully yours, 

"T. Adolphus Tbollope. 
''John Snaith Bymer, Esq., Ealing." 

My personal testimony, under such circumstances, can 
hardly be needed to convict Sir David of untruthfulness, for 
the subject has since that time made such progress as to 
carry it far beyond the criticism of Sir David's "conjec- 
tures ;" and not only he, but Professor Faraday, have had time 
and ample leisure to regret that they should have so foolishly 
pledged themselves and their " philosophy of fifty years" to 
the absolute impossibility of spiritual phenomena. That 
such things should be impossible to them, is conclusive proof 
that their philosophy is based on a radically false foundation, 
for it obliges them to protest against facts and forces, which 
are the correlatives and basis of all true philosophy and 
religion. It is not saying much for science, when it will not 
bear facts, and when such a man as Sir David Brewster is 
obliged to deny them, simply because they upset the phi- 
losophy of fifty years. I myself distinctly remember his 
remarkable words to this effect, and which he found it 
convenient afterwards to deny ; and I am quite sure that at 
the time he used them, he felt their full force, for with aU 
his fancied science, it is evident that he has no theory upon 
which the spiritual phenomena either of the Bible or of 
modern days could possibly be true. 

The occurrences, indeed, were so extraordinary, that Sir 
David, the philosopher, whom we are taught to look up to 
as a man of science, mistrusted the evidence of his own 
senses, and chose, as has been said of him by the learned 
and Rev. Dr. Maitland, " to place himself before the public 
as a person who really could not tell whether a table, under 
his nose, did or did not rise from the ground." The same 
learned divine contemptuously asks the very pertinent ques- 



2S6 APPENDIX, 

tion, " Ib it on men bo grossly and avowedly incompetent to 
judge of plain matter-of-fact submitted to their senses, that 
we are to pin our faith in matters of physical science ?" 

I have been a guest at several of the first European Courts ; 
I have visited noblemen and gentlemen of every country, 
and have resided in many instances for months in their 
houses ; and if Mr. Cox allowed me to conceal machinery i 
under the drapery of his table, they also must have allowed 
me to do the same thing, and for the idle, base, and blas- 
phemous purpose of deceiving themselves and others on a 
subject which gives rise to the holiest thoughts, and exhibits 
powers which prove to demonstration the possibility of spi- 
ritual action. I may add, that I have for years met, and 
still meet every day, with men of the highest attainments in 
the arts and sciences, who have carefully examined all these 
wonderful phenomena, and who have not rested satisfied with 
" conjectures" either as to the table, or as to machinery 
alleged to be concealed about my person. 

But the untruths of Sir David's letter, to which he was 
obliged to resort in order to save his philosophy, are what I 
have now to deal with ; and I appeal with confidence not 
only to the published testimony of Mr. Cox, Mr. Coleman, 
and Mr. TroUope, but also to Lord Brougham, to convict 
Sir David of mis-statement and concealment of facts on the 
following points, which I take in the order stated in his 
letter. 

Ist It 18 trrie that a large table was moved about at 
Mr. Cox's. 

2nd» It 18 true that an accordion was placed under the 
table near Sir David, and that he " placed his feet round it 
in the form of an angle," and that from thence it was taken 
by invisible agency, and felling near me I gave it to Lord 
Brougham to hold. 

Srd. Is essentially correct as stated, but Sir David forgets 
the fe>ct of no one taking it from between his feet, unless it 
was so taken by his " conjectures." 

4ith. The accordion was not said to have played an air 
throughout in Lord Brougham's hand, but it is not true that 









CONTaOVERST WITH BBEWSTEE. 267 

it only squeaked, for the instrument gave a good sound of 
full harmony. 

6th. I never referred to the article alluded to as being 
true, as I knew too well the incorrectness of newspaper 
reports of such matters. 

6th. It 18 true, as stated by Mr. Cox, that Sir David said, 
" Sir, this upsets the philosophy of fifty years." 
" Sir David says, " "Wlien all our hands were upon the table 

noises were heard — rappiugs in abundance ; and, finally, 
'^^ when we rose up, the table actually rose, as appeared to me, 

j'^^ from the ground." And he then goes on to state, " rather 

•' than believe that spirits raised the table I will conjecture 

that it was done by the agency of Mr. Home's feet, which 
were always below it." If this conjecture were true, I 
must have nearly as many feet as Sir David has " conjec- 
tures." 

The shabby conjecture that when I left the room for 

my handkerchief under the circumstances I have stated, it 

was to enquip myself for the feats which I was to palm 

on him as spiritual phenomena, is on a par with the 

statement that no one was allowed to look under the 

'^^ table, which is no other than a wilfuU perversion of the 

^' truth. Sir David again " conjectures" that the bell was 

^ placed in Lord Brougham's hand, and afterwards in his 

'^ own, by machinery attached to my lower extremities. This 

is neither a scientific nor a charita,ble conjecture ; for 'only 

^ picture to yourself a large room in Jermyn Street, with 

three front windows, in broad daylight, and three sane men 

'^ sitting in it, allowing me to enter and walk about with such 

;^ hitherto unknown machinery "attached to my lower ex- 

^ tremities," as would reach several feet, and play an accor- 

^' dion, take up and ring a hand-bell, and perform all the other 

phenomena. As to the music, it has been my good fortune 

■' to be on intimate terms with some of the first composers of 

^ the day, and more than one of them has said of such as they 

have heard, that "it is such music as only angels could 

^ make and no man could write it." 



258 APPENDIX. 

However, I cannot better account for and illustrate the 
whole investigation of the subjeet by Sir David Brewster, 
and his subsequent conduct in the correspondence, than by 
giving prominence to his leading idea and foregone con- 
clusion expressed in his own forcible language, ''Spirit is 
the last thing I will give in to." More unphilosophical 
words have never been uttered ; and such a frame of scep- 
ticism is unworthy both of science and rehgion ; such 
crude ideas have been the cause of all the errors persisted in 
by mankind, who will not accept facts, when they make 
against their prejudices. Facts should always be accepted 
on their own evidence, and not according to any fancied 
order of priority, and still less should they be ungenerously 
or untruthfully put before the world. If the silly question 
of cui bono should ever be raised again, let it be enough to 
remember that Sir David Brewster has pledged himself as a 
philosopher aganist the possibility of the phenomena of 
Spritualism, and so hkewise have Professor Faraday and 
others of like attainments. The cui bono is, therefore, to 
show such men of science that they are utterly wrong in 
their notions of the ultimate forces of the world, and really, 
therefore, to upset their " philosophy of fifty years." I am 
sorry to find, however, that Sir David Brewster's testimony 
to any fact ought not, after what is known of him, to be 
taken without corroboration, for on several remarkable 
occasions he has been convicted of such conduct in scientific 
circles, as makes his statement of matters of fact of little 
value. 

The attempted appropriation by him, to the prejudice of 
Professor Wheatstone, of the main credit of the stereoscope, 
is sufficiently notorious to add to his name a character 
altogether unworthy of a man of science. It appears to have 
become a habit with David Brewster, when another person 
has perfected any great invention on any branch of science 
on which Sir David had previously written, or experi- 
mented, at once to set up his own claim as the dis- 
coverer of the perfected invention ; and having had the com- 



CONTBOVEESY WITH BEEWSTBE. 259 

mand of the pages of the *' North British Eeview," he has, 
J when doubts have been thrown on his universal genius, 

backed up his claims by a skilful anonymous article from 

his own pen. In this way, when Professor Wheatstone 

invented the stereoscope, Sir David, after writing in 1843, 
^' that " it is impossible to over-estimate the importance of 

'^^ his paper," thought in 1852 that the time had come when 

^ he might appropriate the honour to himself, and he wrote 

J one of his anonymous articles in his favourite review, the 

ostensible purpose of which was, as the learned Dr. 
'^ Carpenter says in his exhaustive lecture on this subject 

delivered in 1862, " to exalt its author. Sir D. Brewster, 
'^' at the expense of Mr. Wheatstone, the assertion being then 

^ ' for the first time put forward, that Mr. Wheatstone could 

^^'- claim no more thau the merit of contriving a clumsy 

f method, of carrying into operation the essential principle 

^' which had been enunciated by others." The exposure which 

^^ Sir David meets at the hands of Dr. Carpenter is crushing 

i' and complete.* 

•• A precisely similar attempt respecting the invention of the 

''^ polyzonal lens or dioptric lights, upon which the success of 

> our present light-house system mainly depends, is so recent 

-' and remarkable, that I will put it also shortly before the 

iti^ reader. 

1. • When this great invention, which was really first indicated in 

ar^ France by Buffon and Fresnel, began to be applied some years 

}^ afterwards in Scotland by the late Mr. Stevenson, the eminent 

c:' lighthouse engineer. Sir David appears to have coveted the 

main honour, not less than the profit to be derived from it, and 
i^ to have actually attempted by a Memorial to the Treasury 

v^^ to obtain a pecuniary grant for his alleged discovery. Sir 

iii.i David again made use of his usual organ the " North British 

Eeview" anonymously, in an elaborate article written by 



,fi:. 

'if 

J s'jt- 



* See — and it is well worth seeing — " On Binocular Vision and the Ste- 
reoscope," a Lecture delivered at the London Institution, March 19, 1862, 
by W.B. Carpenter, M.D., F.R.S., P.L.S., F.G.S., Eegistrar of the Uni- 
versity of London. Liverpool, G^renwell, 1862. 

s 2 



260 APPENDIX. 

himself, in wluch he gives, as from an impartial tribunal, 
a judgment in favour of his own claims to the inven- 
tion, as having been made many years previously. Curiously 
enough, as if anticipating his inquiry into spiritual pheno- 
mena, and to show that it was not always that Spirits were 
" the last things he would give into" he brings them forward 
in this review of himself to help to back up his alleged 
merits, by saying, "that the hundreds of lives which 
were lost on the Scottish coast from the imperfections 
of its light-houses during the ten years that the en- 
gineer refused to listen to Sir David Brewster's recom- 
mendation of the lens apparatus, lie at the conscience-door 
of the engineer, and that during the following nine years 
that the Scottish Commissioners refused to surrender to 
science their ignorance and their prejudices, ths souls of the 
men sMjptorecJced from the same causes may yet rise up in 
judgment against themJ* How does Sir David know that it 
was not the spirits of some of these poor sailors who came 
to him in Jermyn Street and at Ealing, to show him that, 
although they had this power, yet that they knew the baseless- 
ness of his claims too well to trouble the Commissioners 
or the engineer on the subject. Suf&ce it to say, that 
the Messrs. Stevenson, in a reply* which this review called 
forth from them to protect the memory of their father, 
have conclusively shown the groundless nature of Brewster's 
claims, and placed him in a position which humbler men 
would altogether sink imder. 

Curiously enough, however apt Sir David may be as 
an inventor in physics, he has only one mode of action 
in reference to the inventions of others, for his course with 
Mr. Stevenson is the exact counterpart of that played 
off on Professor Wheatstone. He first applauded both in- 
ventions and then a few years afterwards tried to claim 
the principle merit connected with them for himself. 

♦ " Reply to Sir David Brewster's Memorial to the Commissioners of 
the Treasury on the New System of Dioptric Lights." By D. and F. 
Stevenson, Engineers to the Commissions of the Northern Lighthouses. 
Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh, &c., &c. 



CONTEOVEESY WITH BEEWSTEB. 261 

I trust that T have said enough to show that my character 
for truthfulness and honesty ought not to receive much 
injury from Sir David Brewster ; and that if Spiritualism is 
to be farther investigated by men of science, there is no, 
reason to fear, that such as Sir David Brewster will be 
allowed to be amongst those who will settle the question. 



262 



CONNECTION OP ME. HOME'S EXPEBIENCES WITH 
THOSE OF FORMER TIMES. 

[The materials of the following chapter haye been contributed by a 
literary friend. It may be added that the Introductory Remarks and this 
chapter have been prepared, under editorial care, in the absence of Mr. 
Home in France; so that he cannot be considered as responsible for 
them.] 

ObvioTislj, on yarious considerations, the gifts attending 
upon Mr. Home wonld be less entitled to public attention 
if they appeared as unique or exclusive to himself. It is 
hardly necessary to make the remark, that they are shared 
by many living persons in America, and by some in our own 
country. More important it is to observe that such extra- 
ordinary peculiarities have been occasionally reported 
throughout all ages, as well as in all countries, though 
modem scepticism has learned to look upon them all as 
compositions of imposture and delusion. On the present 
occasion it is only proposed to adduce a few cases in which 
mysterious noises and other phenomena, resembling those 
connected with the organism of Mr. Home, have attracted a 
certain degree of attention, during the last two or three 
centuries. 

A girl of thirteen, named Ang^ique Cottin, was brought 
from her home in the department of the Finisterre, to Paris, in 
1843, in consequence of some mysterious physical peculiarities 
connected with her, which had been observed while she was 
employed as a winder in a thread glove manufactory. It 
was alleged that heavy articles moved at her approach, or 
contact, and that in her presence a tub rose into the air with 
a man seated on it. Messrs. Arago, Mathieu, Langier, and 
Goujon visited her at the Observatory, and witnessed a 



EXPEEIENCES OP FORMEE TIMES. 263 

series of experiments thus described in the newspapers of 
the day : 

" A piece of paper, placed upon the edge of a table, was 
immediately attracted by the left hand of the girl. She 
then, holding her apron in her hand, approached a gueridon, 
which was pushed back although the apron scarcely touched 
it. The next experiment was to place her in a chair with 
her feet on the ground. The chair was projected with vio- 
lence against the wall, while the girl was thrown the other 
way. This experiment was repeated several times, and with 
the same results. M. Arago laid his hand upon the chair 
to prevent its moving ; but the force was too great for his 
resistance, and M. Goujon, having seated himself on a part 
of the chair, was thrown off as soon as Angelique had also 
taken her seat. Such, said M. Arago, were the facts wit- 
nessed, and he had seen nothing to justify an opinion that 
any deception had been practised. Since then, other experi- 
ments have been performed by Dr. Tauchon. This gentle- 
man had the chair in which Angelique was seated held by 
two powerful men. In this instance it was not driven away, 
but broke in their hands. A table, a gueridon (a small 
round table), and a heavy sofa were projected by the mere 
contact of the girl's clothes." 

M. Arago, then occupying, it need scarcely be said, the 
highest place in Prance as a cultivator of physical science, 
was so much impressed by what he witnessed in Angelique's 
presence, that he moved the appointment of a Committee in 
the Academy of Sciences, for the investigation of the pheno- 
mena attending her. In the report which he subsequently 
presented, he stated that on two visits of the Committee to 
the girl, at the Jardin des Plantes, none of the experiments 
were successful ; her friend, M. Chollet, explaining that in- 
termittences in her power often took place ; but two mem- 
bers of the committee who had been at her hotel, affirmed 
that from seven till nine in the evening, the alleged phe- 
nomena were "manifested in all their force;" and he 
rei)eated his conviction that in the repulsions between the 
girl and her chair, her hands were imconcemed. In con- 



264 APPENDIX. 

sequence of other visits by the Committee being fruitless of 
results, M. Arago joined in a subsequent report, to the effect 
that former communications on the subject to the Academy 
should be " regarded as if they had never been received." It 
is evident, however, that M. Arago had witnessed effects for 
which he could assign no ordinary mechanical cause ; and it 
may fairly be said that no amount of negative evidence 
would suffice to obliterate that which he gave as positive, 
unless he could explain away his positive evidence, which 
we are not aware he ever did. Obviously, to explain how 
a little girl could overcome the force of two powerful men, 
and that with an exertion which wholly escaped the observa- 
tion of both these men and other bystanders, could not be 
much less difficult than to expound the nature of the alleged 
phenomena on the basis of their assumed verity. It is also 
admitted by M. Arago himself, that while the Academy's 
Committee could get no manifestations, multitudes of other 
people were favoured with them. From what on the whole 
appears in this case, a simple denial of the alleged phe- 
nomena is inadmissible. 

The " Standard" Newspaper in June, 1841, contained 
several articles regarding some remarkable disturbances 
which then took jjlace in a house called Want's Cottage, 
situated at Clewer, about a mile from Windsor, being the 
residence of a respectable couple retired from business, Mr. 
and Mrs. Wright, and their two d^|ghters, besides one 
female domestic. Noises^a^^gdlRa by the knuckles of 
a human being, wer^'IBiBWrl^pay and night tm.: a door 
leading from the kitchen to a-"^w#tep-closet. Sometimes they 
were loud enough to be heard by the inmates of the houses 
four or five hundred yards off. The disturbance went on at 
intervals for several weeks, to the serious discomposure of 
the family, and even of their neighbours, and the most active 
and diligent efforts to discover any ordinary mechanical 
cause proved vain. We are told of a group of magistrates, 
composed of Mr. W. F. Eiley, Forest Hill, Mr. W. B. Har- 
conrt, St. Leonard's Hill, Major-General Lord Clement Hill, 



EXPEBTBNCB3 OP FORMEE TIMES. 265 

Mr. Edmund Foster, Clewer House, the Eev. Mr. G-ould, of 
Clewer, &c., being assembled to search into the matter, in 
the hope of " detecting the trick,'* but without the least 
success. Mr. Rilej and Lord Clement Hill stationed them- 
selves in the hall, within three yards of the door, and as 
soon as the knocking commenced, rushed to the spot, but 
found no person near it. The water-closet was wholly 
broken up, and the ground beneath excavated, but with 
equally little effect. Mr. Wright's son, arriving from New- 
bury, fastened the door with a piece of wire, and after a 
knocking, this wire was found broken, and the door forced 
inwards. After this troubling had lasted several days, the 
landlady of the house came, and took various expedients, 
such as removing the floor and digging below, to discover its 
cause ; all in vain. A scientific gentleman came from Lon- 
don, examined a drain, and analysed the water of a neigh- 
bouring ditch, (!) but could throw no light upon the subject. 
At length the family, tired out with the disturbance, deserted 
the house with their furniture, and from that time the noises 
ceased.* 

The conclusion arrived at from this last fact, was that 
trickery on the part of some member of the family was at 
the bottom of the mystery ; but no vestige of such trickery 
had been detected by any of the multitudes who flocked 
to the house — we do not hear of even a surmise as to the 
means employed — and the ceasing of the noises with the 
departure of the family, might be supposed to have been 
simply because of a connection between the condition of the 
organism of some one of the inmates, and these mysterious 
phenomena. 

It was in 1841 that Dr. Beid Clanny, a physician at Sun- 
derland, published an authoritative report of the singular 
illness which had recently affected his patient, Mary Jobson, 
a girl of about thirteen, the child of parents in humble life, 
but of good character. This child was, in November 1839, 

♦ The newspaper accounts of this affair are extracted into Major Moor's 
volume on the " Bealing Bells," Woodbrdge, 18il, p. 99—110. 



266 APPENDIX. 

seized -with fits which lasted for several weeks, and during 
this time an unaccountable knocking frequently took place 
near her bed, and a voice was heard speaking of facts un- 
known at the time, but which were subsequently found to 
be true. Sweet music was likewise heard, as also footsteps 
where there was no visible human being ; and occasionally 
locked doors were unaccountably opened. Individuals un- 
connected with the Jobsons, were sometimes accosted in 
their own homes by this voice, and told to go to see her. 
One Elizabeth Gauntlett, obeyed the command, and arriving 
at the door of Jobson's house, was told by the voice to go 
up. On several occasions, when visiting Mary, she heard 
the most exquisite music. Many persons, visiting the sick 
girl, heard preachings of a holy character from the voice ; 
and some who came there were ordered to depart, as if they 
had been considered unworthy to be present. 

The voice on one occasion said, " Look up, and you will 
see the sun and moon on the ceiling ;" and immediately 
there did appear a representation of these objects in the 
situation indicated. To the surprise of all, these pictures 
remained permanent. The father, who was then only 
annoyed at the unaccountable circumstances attending his 
child, and a disbeliever in their extra-natural character, 
ordered the ceiling to be whitewashed ; but the figures still 
continued partially visible. 

For several months in 1840, these singular phenomena 
proceeded with little interruption, the child being all the 
time a bed-rid invalid. The voice was often heard. It told 
them on one occasion that Mary's own spirit had left her 
body, and a new one had taken possession, making her 
frame a mere instrument, or as it were a speaking-trumpet. 
Many things told by the spirit were found to be true. Fre- 
quently there were songs in parts, apparently sung in the 
air. The figure of a lamb was seen by one visitor, entering" 
the room of Mary's father, who, however, did not see it 
himself. One manifestation of a very remarkable character 
in the form of a sprinkling of water, was frequently given, 
professedly for the curing of unbelief, in Jobson and liis 



EXPERIENCES OP FORMEE TIMES. 267 

visitors. (This phenomenon has often happened among the 
American spiritualists.) At length, on the 22nd of June, Mary 
Jobson was suddenly raised from her extreme illness to perfect 
health. The voice, which had promised a miraculous cure, 
told them to lay out the girl's clothes, and leave the room, 
all but the infant of two and a half years old. After a 
quarter of an hour's absence, the voice called to them, 
" Come in ;" and when they entered, they found Mary sit- 
ting up dressed, and perfectly well, with the infant upon 
her knee. Nor from that time did her illness recur. 

There were, of course, the usual suspicions of imposture 
in this case ; but the particulars were observed by multi- 
tudes, who never detected any trick, and the whole matter 
is attested by Dr. Eeid Clanny and others, who not only 
had no interest in verifying such extraordinary facts, but in 
doing so risked considerable loss of reputation. 

Groing back into the last century, we find the noted case 
of Anne Parsons (adverted to in the Introductory Ee- 
marks), which is remarkable for the advances made to that 
system of converse with the invisible powers, now so exten- 
sively developed in America. That Anne Parsons was sim- 
ply a medium, or sensitive of the same class with Mr. Home, 
is not to be doubted by any one conversant with spiritualism. 
It would be very curious to learn what became of the child 
in her subsequent years.* 

Two cases stated in the newspapers in the latter part of 
1732, have features in strong parallelism with those of Anne 
Parsons. 

" We hear from Waltham, in Leicestershire, near Melton 
Mowbray, that a mason's daughter, aged 11, is possessed 
with an evil spirit, which throws her out of bed into fits, 

♦ It will probably be heard with some surprise, that the iUustrious 
Jenner, in his boyish days, appears to have had a partial experience of 
the medimnistic or sensitive state. Through weakness, as we are told, in- 
duced by the process of inoculation, he lost the habit of regular sleep, and 
was "constantly haunted by imaginary noises." — Foshroke's Berkeley 
Manuscrijpts, 4to., 1821, p. 222. 



268 APPENDIX. 

and pinches bits out of her flesh, and has twice put her 
collar-bone out. In her frequent fits, she lies as one dead, 
and at the same time there is such a knocking and thun- 
dering noise (sometimes at the door, but mostly by and 
about the child) as is terrible to see about her ; and if the 
spirit is bid knock any number of tunes, or to any tune, it 
certainly does so. The Tiord Howe, the clergy, &c., there- 
abouts, have had the girl with them, and have all proved it 
to be no fallacy or imposition. All the account she gives 
when she comes out of her fits is, that she is carried into a 
wood, and tormented by three persons." — London News- 
papera, October, 1732. 

" They write from Tholouse that a young woman, now 
of that city, (bom in the village Grand Mall in that dio- 
cese), is haunted by an invisible man, that has almost 
frightened her out of her wits. She is a^ed 25, daughter 
of an attorney. Her uncle, (also an attorney) has often 
questioned this spirit, but got no answer. At last the girl 
herself was prevailed on to speak to it, and ask its name, 
and whether *it was a gentleman? At which it answered 
with a knock under the table. She asked again whether it 
was a marquis, a count, a baron, or a knight ? At the 
word knight, it knocked again. Vast numbers flock to see 
this young woman, and return well satisfied with the polite- 
ness and good breeding of this spirit, who now answers in 
words to all the woman asks, but is dumb to everybody 
else." — London Newspapers, Dec. 1732. 

The case usually spoken of as that of the St. Maur spirit 
has all the appearance of being one of simple mediumship, 
though an intelligent tracing of the connection with per- 
sonality is unfortunately wanting. The external facts are 
detailed in an anonymous narrative, transferred into Cal- 
met's Phantom World, and were as follows : 

" Monsieur de S — ■ — ," says the narrator, " is a young 
man, short in stature, well-made for his height, between 
four and five-and-twenty years of age. Being in bed, ko 
heard several loud knocks at his door, without the maid 



EXPEBIENGEB OF FOBMEB TTMES. 269 

servant, who ran thither directly, finding any one ; and then 
the curtains of his bed were drawn, although there was 
only himself in the room. The 22nd of last March, being, 
about eleven o'clock at night, busy looking over some lists 
of works in his study, with three lads who are his domes- 
tics, they all heard distinctly a rustling of the papers on 
the table ; the cat was suspected of this performance, but 

M. de S- , having taken a light and looked diligently 

about, found nothing. 

" A little after this he went to bed, and sent to bed also 
those who had been with him in his kitchen, which is neict 
to his sleeping-room ; he again heard the same noise in his 
study or closet ; he rose to see what it was, and not having 
found any thing more than he did the first time, he was 
going to shut the door, but he felt some resistance to his 
doing so ; he then went in to see what this obstacle might 
be, and at the same time heard a noise above his head 
towards the corner of the room, like a great blow on the 
wall ; at this he cried out, and his people ran to him ; . he 
tried to reassure them, though alarmed himself ; and having 
found nothing he went to bed again and fell asleep. 
Hardly had these lads extinguished the light, when M. 

de S was suddenly awakened by a shake, like that of a 

boat striking against the arch of a bridge ; he was so much 
alarmed at it that he called his domestics, and when they 
had brought the light, he was strangely surprised to find 
his bed at least four feet out of its place, and he was then 
aware that the shock he had felt was when his bedstead 
ran against the wall. His people having replaced the bed 
saw, with as much astonishment as alarm, all the bed- 
curtains open at the same moment, and the bedstead set 
off running towards the fire-place. M. de S imme- 
diately got up, and sat up the rest of the night by the 
fire-side. About six in the morning, having made another 
attempt to sleep, he was no sooner in bed, than the bed- 
stead made the same movement again, twice, in the pre« 
sence of his servants, who held the bed-posts to prevent it 
from displacing itself. At last, beihg obliged to give up 



270 APPENDIX. 

the game, he went out to walk till dinner time ; after 
which, having tried to take some rest, and his bed having 
twice changed its place, he sent for a man who lodged in 
the same house, as much to reassure himself in his com- 
pany, as to render him a witness of so surprising a circum- 
stance. But the shock which took place before this man 
was so violent, that the left foot at the upper part of the 
bedstead was broken ; which had such an effect upon him, 
that in reply to the offers that were made to him to stay 
and see a second, he replied, that what he had seen, with 
the frightful noise he had heard all night, were quite suffi- 
cient to convince him of the fact. 

" It was thus that the affair, which till then had re- 
mained between M. de S and his domestics, became 

public ; and the report of it being immediately spread, and 
reaching the ears of a great prince who had just arrived at 
St. Maur, his highness was desirous of enlightening him- 
self upon the matter, and took the trouble to examine care- 
fully into the circumstances which were related to him. As 
this adventure became the subject of every conversation, 
very soon nothing was heard but stories of ghosts, related 
by the credulous, and laughed at and joked upon by the free- 
thinkers. However, M. de S tried to reassure himself, 

and go the following night into his bed, and become worthy 
of conversing with the spirit, which he doubted not had some- 
thing to disclose to him. He slept till nine o'clock the 
next morning, without having felt any thing but slight 
shakes, as if the mattresses were raised up, which only 
served to rock him and promote sleep. The next day passed 
off pretty quietly ; but on the 26th, the spirit, who seemed 
to have become well-behaved, resumed its fantastic humour, 
and began the morning by making a great noise in the kit- 
chen ; they would have forgiven it for this sport if it had 
stopped there, but it was much worse in the afternoon. M. 
de S , who owns that he felt himself particularly at- 
tracted towards his study, though he felt a repugnance to 
enter it, having gone into it about six o'clock, went to the 
end of the room, and returning towards the door to go 



EXPEBIENGES OF FOBMEB TIMES. 271 

into his bedroom again, was much surprised to see it shut 
of itself and barricade itself with the two bolts. At the 
same time, the two doors of a large press opened behind 
him, and rather darkened his study, because the window, 
which was open, was behind these doors. 

" At this sight, the fright of M. de S is more easy 

to imagine than to describe ; however, he had sufficient 
calmness left, to hear at his left ear a distinct voice, which 
came from a corner of the closet, and seemed to him to be 
about a foot above his head. This voice spoke to him in 
very good terms during the space of half a rrviserere; and 
ordered him, theeing and thouing him, to do some one par- 
ticular thing, which he was recommended to keep secret. 
What he has made public is, that the voice allowed him a 
fortnight to accomplish it in ; and ordered him to go to a 
place, where he would find some persons who would inform 
him what he had to do ; and that it would come back and 
torment him if he failed to obey. The conversation ended 
by an adieu. 

" After that, M. de S remembers that he fainted and 

fell down on the edge of a box, which caused him a pain 
in his side. The loud noise and the cries which he after- 
wards uttered, brought several people in haste to the door, 
and after useless efforts to open it, they were going to force 

it open with a hatchet, when they heard M. de S drag- 

gingf himself towards the door, which he with much diffi- 
culty opened. Disordered as he was, and unable to speak, 
they first of all carried him to the fire, and then they laid 
him on his bed, where he received all the compassion of 
the great prince, of whom I have already spoken, who 
hastened to the house the moment this event was noised 
abroad. His highness, having caused all the recesses and 
comers of the house to be inspected, and no one being 

found therein, wished that M. de S should be bled; but 

his surgeon finding he had a very feeble pulsation, thought 
he could not do so without danger. 

" When he recovered from his swoon, his highness, who 
wished to discover the truth, questioned him concerning his 



272 AFPENDIX. 

adventure; but lie only heard the circumstances I have 
mentioned— M. de S — -— having protested to him that he 
could not, without risk to his life, tell him more. 

" The spirit was heard of no more for a fortnight; » but 
when that term was expired — whether his orders had not 
been faithfully executed, or that he was glad to come and 

thank M. de S for being so exact as he was, during 

the night, lying in a little bed near the window of his bed- 
room, his mother in the great bed, and one of his friends 
in an arm-chair near the fire, they all three heard some one 
rap several times against the wall, and such a blow against 
the window, that they thought all the panes were broken. 

M. de S got up that moment, and went into his closet 

to see if this troublesome spirit had something else to say 
to him ; but when there, he could neither find nor hear any 
thing. And thus ended this adventure, which has made so 
much noise and drawn so many inquisitive persons to St. 
Maur."* 

The two cases of the boy of Shepton-Mallet and Patrick 
Sandilands, though divided in both space and time, may be 
placed together on account of their remarkable similarity. 
It was in 1657, that Henry Jones, a boy of twelve years of 
age, residing at the above mentioned vUlage, was found to 
be liable to fits, and thought to be bewitched by a woman 
named Jane Brooks, who suffered for her supposed fault 
next year. Jones fell into trances, during which it was 
averred, he would be carried by invisible means from one 
room to another, and sometimes wholly lifted up, so that his 
body hung in the air, with only the flat of his hands placed 
against the ceiling. One afternoon, being at the house of 
5ne Eichard Isles, he went out into the garden, and there, 
in sight of Isles's wife, was raised up into the air, and trans- 
ported over the garden wall for about thirty yards, falling 
at length as one dead at the door of a neighbouring house. 

* The translation in Christmas's Edition of Calmet, is here used, after 
collation with the reprint in Recueil de JDiasertations 8ur let Apparitions^ 
les VinonSy et lea Sondes, 4 vols. Paris, 1761. 



EXPERIENCES OF FOEMEB TIMES. 273 

Patrick Sandilands, a younger son of Lord Torphichen, at 
Calder, in Scotland, was, in 1720, believed to be bewitched, 
and it was by a narrow chance that a couple of suspected 
witches escaped burning on his account. In his physical 
condition there were some peculiarities well calculated to 
excite alarm ; but what chiefly drew attention was his ten- 
dency to rise entranced into the air, which was so great that 
his sisters had to watch him, and sometimes only cotdd keep 
him down by hanging to his skirts. In time the disease — 
for so it appeared to be — ^passed away, and the young man 
going to sea, rose to the command of an East Indiaman. 

Bodin, in his " Demonomanie," 1593, gives an account of 
a gentleman known to him — supposed to have been himself 
— who seems to have enjoyed the mediumistic power of 
spirit communication to a degree very nearly approa<;hing to 
that of Mr. Home. The narrative is curious, and has that 
self-consistency which we associate with truth. lb is here 
presented in the translation of Dr. Henry More,* after col- 
lation with the original. 

" This party, a holy and pious man, as it should seem, 
and an acquaintance of Bodinus's, freely told him how that he 
had a certain spirit that did perpetually accompany him, 
which he was first aware of when he had attained to about 
thirty-seven years of age. This spirit discovered himself to 
him after he had for a whole year together earnestly prayed 
to God to send a good angel to him, to be the guide and 
governor of his life and actions ; adding, also, that before 
and after prayer, he used to spend two or three hours in 
meditation and reading the Scriptures, diligently inquiring 
with himself, what religion amongst those many that ar^ 
controverted in the world, might be best, beseeching God 
that he would be pleased to direct him to it. . . . While he 
was thus busy with himself in matters of religion, he 
light[ed] on a passage in Philo Judaeus, in his book 
* De Sacrificiis,' where he writes * that* a good and holy man 
can offer no greater or more acceptable sacrifice to God than 

* More's " Antidote against Atheism." London, 1656. 

T 



274 APPENDIX. 

the oblation of himself ;* and, following Philo's counsel, he 
oflfered his soul to Gk)d. After that, among many other 
divine dreams and visions, he once in his sleep iaeemed to 
hear the voice of Grod saying to him, * I wiU save thy soul, I 
am he that before appeared unto thee/ Afterwards the 
spirit every day would knock at the door about three or four 
o'clock in the morning, though he rising and opening the 
door could see nobody ; but the spirit persisted in this 
course, and unless he did rise, would thus rouse him up. 

" This trouble and boisterousness made him begin to 
conceit that it was some evil spirit that thus haunted him, 
and therefore he daily prayed earnestly unto G-od, that he 
would be pleased to send a good angel to him ; and often 
also sang psalms, learning the most of them by heart. 
Wherefore, the spirit afterward knocked more gently at the 
door ; and one day discovered himself to him waking, which 
was the first time that he was assured by his senses that it 
was he ; for he often touched and stirred a drinking glass 
that stood in his chamber, which did not a little amaze 
him. 

" Two days after, when he entertained at supper a certain 
friend of his. Secretary to the King, that this friend of his 
was much abashed while he heard the. spirit thumping on 
the bench hard by him, and was strucken with fear ; but lie 
bid him be of good cheer, there was no hurt towards ; ajid 
the better to assure him of it, told him the truth of the 
whole matter. 

" Wherefore, from that time, saith Bodinus, he did afi&rm 
that this spirit was always with him, and by some sensible 
sign, did ever advertise him of things ; as by striking his 
right ear if he did anything amiss ; if otherwise, his left. If 
anybody came to circumvent him, that his right ear was 
struck, but his left ear if a good man and to good ends 
accosted him. If he was about to eat or drink anything 
that would hurt him, or intended or purposed with himself 
to do anything that would prove iU, that he was inhibited 
by a sign, and if he delayed to follow his business, that he 
was quickened by a sign given him. 



SXFEBIENCES OF FOSMER TIMES, 275 

" When lie began to praise God in psalms, and to declare 
his marvellous acts, he was presently raised and strengthened 
with a spii'itual and supernatural power. 

" That he daily begged of Grod that he would teach him 
his will, his law, and his truth ; and that he set one day of 
the week apart for reading the Scripture, and meditation, 
with singing of psalms, and that he did not stir out of his 
house all that day. But that in his ordinary conversation 
he was suJQiciently merry and of a cheerful mind, and he 
cited that saying for it, * Vidi fades sanctorum loeta^.' But 
in his conversing with others, if he had talked vainly and 
indiscreetly, or had some days together neglected his devo- 
tions, he was forthwith admonished thereof by a dream. He 
was also admonished to rise betimes in the morning ; and 
about four of the clock, a voice would come to him while he 
was asleep, saying, * Who gets up first to pray ?' 

" He told Bodinus also, how he was often admonished to 
give alms, and that the more charity he bestowed, the more 
prosperous he was. And on a time when his enemies sought 
after his life, and knew that he was to go by water, his 
father in a dream brought two horses to him, the one white, 
and the other bay ; and therefore he bid his servant hire 
him two horses, and though he told him nothing of the 
colours, yet he brought him a white one and a bay one. 

**That in all difficulties, journeyings, and what other 
enterprises soever, he used to ask counsel of God, and that 
one night when he had begged his blessing, while he slept 
he saw a vision, wherein his father seemed to bless him. 

" At another time, when he was in very great danger, and 
was newly gone to bed, he said that the spirit would not 
let him alone till he had raised him again ; wherefore he 
watched and prayed all that night. The day after, he 
escaped the hands of his persecutors in a wonderful man- 
ner ; which being done, in his next sleep, he heard a voice 
saying, * now sing, Qui sedet in latihulo AltissimiJ 

" A great many other passages this party told Bodinus ; 
so many, indeed, that he thought it an endless labour to 

T 2 



276 APPENDIX. 

recite them all. But what remains of those he has recited, 
I will not stick to take the pains of transcribing them. 

" Bodinus asked him why he would not speak to the 
spirit, for the gaining of more plain and familiar converse 
with it. He answered that he once attempted it, but the 
spirit instantly struck the door with that vehemency, as if 
he had knocked upon it with a hammer; whereby he 
gathered his dislike to the matter. 

" But though the spirit would not talk with him, yet he 
would make use of his judgment in the reading of books, 
and moderating his studies. For if he took an ill book into 
his hands, and fell a reading, the spirit would strike it, that 
he might lay it down, ajid would aJso sundry times, be the 
books what he would, hinder him from reading and writing 
overmuch, that his mind might rest, and silently meditate 
with itself. He added also, that very offcen when he was 
awake, a small, subtile, inarticulate sound would come into 
his ears. 

" Bodinus further inquiring whether he ever saw the 
shape and form of the spirit, he told him that, while he was 
awake, he never could see anything but a certain light very- 
bright and clear, and of a round compass and figure ; but 
that once, being in great jeopardy of his life, and having 
heartily prayed to God that he would be pleased to provide 
for his safety, about break of day, amidst his slumberings 
and wakings, he espied on his bed where he lay, a young 
boy clad in a white garment, tinctured somewhat with a 
touch of purple, and of a visage admirably lovely and beau- 
tiful to behold. This he confidently affirmed to Bodinus 
for a certain truth." 

Dr. John Dee was one of the ablest and most learned men 
of the sixteenth century. As is well known, he took into 
association with himself a mian named Edward Kelley, who 
professed to have the power of seeing visions in a piece of 
polished jet, and who received communications from myste- 
rious voices. It has always been matter of surprise that a 
man of such attainments should have so surrendered himself 



EXPERIENCES OF FOEMEB TIMES. 277 

to one who appears as only an under-educated man and an 
impostor. But the details of Dee's experience present 
Kelley as simply a sensitive of the same character as Mr. 
Home; and those who see valuable truth to be derivable 
through the channel of spiritualism, will not wonder that 
Dee employed him and listened to him. It is true that the 
great mathematician to some extent misunderstood the phe- 
nomena, and was unfortunately led to trust too much to 
Kelley's communications, so as to bewilder himself with 
alchemical researches, and to do many other things which 
are to be deplored. But the fact of mystic communications 
is independent of errors and falsehoods which these com- 
munications may involve. Dee and Kelley viewed the 
whole matter with a religious awe characteristic of their 
age, and were unprepared to " try " the spirits. Of their 
good faith, as viewed under the light of modem spiritualism, 
there is no occasion to doubt. 

It would only weary the reader to trace history farther 
back for examples of sensitiveism like that of Mr. Home. 
Let us rather give some of the space which remains to 
detached instances of the phenomena. 

As to the hnockings, odd and whimsical as this kind of 
manifestation may appear, it is one of which we hear much 
in old books of demonology. John Aubrey has a distinct 
chapter on the subject. He tells us that, three or four days 
before his father died, he had a premonition of the event by 
" three distinct knocks on the bed-head, as if it had been 
with a ruler or ferula," he lying at the time perfectly 
awake.* Eichard Baxter, in his Certainty of the World of 
Spirits, treats the same subject very gravely. A man of quality, 
known to him, had of late years fallen into drunken habits. 
After a debauch, he was haunted with knockings at his 
bed-head, which others heard as well as himself, nor did a 
removal of the bed do anything to banish them.f 

• Miscellanies, &c., collected by John Aubrey, F.E.S. Second Edition. 
1721, p. 122. 
t Baxter's "Certainty of the World of Spirits," 1691, p. 60. 



278 APPENDIX. 

Major John Morgan, of Wells, lying in bed one day with 
Mr. Barlow, son of the Dean of Wells, they heard three 
knocks on their bed, and Barlow died soon after. It is curious 
to contrast these cases from forgotten English books of the 
seventeenth century, with a modem. French one, detailed by 
Morin. It states that *• a French soldier, a revolutionary 
hero, previously sceptical, was at five different times of his 
life, and always before a catastrophe in his family, warned 
of it by three distinct blows on the head of his bed."* Or 
take a recent English case. On the 6th of July 1858, a 
woman named Smith, gave evidence regarding the murder 
of a policeman, named Clark, which had happened at 
Dagenham fourteen years before ; stating that her first hus- 
band William Page had been concerned in it. She had seen 
the spirit of Page several times in broad day, and while 
taking her meals she had often heard the devil tapping the 
bottom of her chair. The identity of these experiences oc- 
curring in such different places, and amongst such different 
people, is very striking. 

The case of Luther in the castle of Wurtzburg, hearing 
what he thought the devil cracking nuts in his chamber, 
does not seem very different from that of Mrs. Smith, 
quondam Page. It appears to be an experience incidental 
to an excited or reduced condition of the nervous system. 

"Eushton Hall, near Kettering, in Northamptonshire, 
was long the residence of the ancient and distinguished 
family of the Treshams. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
the mansion was occupied by Sir Thomas Tresham, who 
was a pedant and a fanatic, but who was an important cha- 
racter of his time, by reason of his great wealth and power- 
ful connections. There is a lodge at Rushton, situate about 
half a mile from the old hall, now in ruins, but covered all 
over, within and without, with emblems of the Trinity. 
This lodge is known to have been built by Sir Thomas 
Tresham ; but his precise motive for selecting this mode of 
illustrating his favourite doctrine was unknown until it ap- 
• Morin, " Comment TEsprit rient aux Tables." 



EXPEBIENCES OP FORMEB TIMES. 279 

peared from a letter written by himself about the year 1584, 
and discovered in a bundle of books and papers enclosed 
since 1605 in a wall in the old mansion ; and brought to 
light about twenty years ago. The following relation is 
extracted from this letter : 

** If it be demanded why I labour so much in the Trinity 
and Passion of Christ, to depaint in this chamber, this is 
the principal instance thereof; that at my last being hither 
committed, and I having usually my servants allowed me 
to read nightly an hour to me after supper, it fortuned that 
Fulcis, my then servant, reading in the Christian Revelation, 
in the treatise of Proof that there is a Ood, &c., there was 
upon a wainscot table at that instant three loud knocks (as 
if it had been with an iron hammer) given ; to the great 
amazing of me and my two servants. Fulcis and Nilkton." — 
D. Jabdine, in Notes and Queries, Nov. 26, 1853. 

Dr. Robert Plot, in his two several books on the Natural 
History of Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, published in the 
latter part of the seventeenth century, takes care to par- 
ticularize the warnings which several families of those coun- 
ties were accustomed to have before a death occurred in one 
of them. There was " a knocking before the death of any of 
the family of Captain Basil Wood, of Brize-Norton, Captain 
in the late wars for the King. The first knocking that was 
heard, or at least observed, was about a year after the 
Restoration, in the afternoon, a little before night, at or 
upon the door, it being then open, as it was apprehended by 
Mrs. Elenor Wood, mother to Captain Basil Wood, who 
only heard it, none being then by or about the house but 
herself; at which she was very much disturbed, thinking it 
boded some ill to her or hers. And within fourteen nights 
after, she had news of the death of her son-in-law, Mr. 
George Smith, who died in London. 

"About three years after that, there were three great 
knocks given very audibly to all that were then in the 
house, viz., to Mrs. Elenor Wood, Mr. Basil Wood, and his 
wife, Mrs. Hester, and some servants ; which knocks were so 



280 APPENDIX. 

remarkable, that one of the maids came from the well, which 
waB about twenty yards from the place, to see what was the 
matter. And Mrs. Elenor Wood, and another maid that 
was within the house, saw three great pans of curd shake 
and totter so upon a shelf in the milk-house, that they were 
like to fall down. Upon this violent knocking, Mr. Basil 
Wood and his wife being then in the hall, came presently 
into the milk-house to their mother, where, finding her 
somewhat disturbed, and inquiring the reason, she replied 
God Almighty only knew the matter — she could tell nothing, 
but she heard the knocking ; which, being within doors, Mr. 
Basil Wood concluded must be for some of the family at 
home, that upon the door being for a friend abroad ; which 
accordingly fell out, three of the family, according to the 
number of the knocks, dying within little more than half a 
year after ; viz., Mrs. Hester Wood, a child of Mrs. Wood's 
sister, and Mrs. Elenor Wood. 

" About August, 1674, Mr. Basil Wood junior, son of 
Basil, living at Exeter, heard the same kind of knocking, at 
which being disturbed, he wrote to his father at Bampton 
in Oxfordshire, that one Sunday, he and his wife, and her 
sister, and his brother, did distinctly hear upon a table in 
their chamber, as they stood by it, two several knocks struck 
as it were with a cudgel, one of them before, and the other 
after morning prayer, a little before dinner. Which letter 
was shown by Wood senior, to several neighbouring gentle- 
men. After which, within about fourteen days, Mrs. Hester 
Wood, a second wife of Mr. Basil Wood, senior, and about 
a quarter of a year after, her father, Mr. Eichard Lisset, 
died, both at Bampton ; since which time they have heard 
nothing more as yet."* 

Dr. Plot, in his book on Staffordshire, mentions that 
" The like signal was given before the death of Captain 
Basil Wood himself." He goes on to speak of other Stafford- 
shire families, who enjoyed this unpleasant distinction. Be- 
fore the decease of any of the family of Cumberford of Cum- 
berford, three knocks were always heard at Cumberford Hall, 

• Plot's " Oxfordshire," fol. edit. 1705, p. 209. 



EXPEBIENCES OP FORMEB TIMES. 281 

though the party dying be at never bo great a distance. 
" Thus," says Dr. Plot, " I was also told at Ammington, by 
the worshipful Sebright Repington, Esq., that a noise some- 
what like a drum was heard about eiglit or nine o'clock at 
night for six or eight weeks together, in a stack of chimneys 
of his house, at the death of his first lady ; which, they say, 
is always heard upon the departure of any of the family of 
Burdett, whence that lady came. And thus I was informed 
concerning another family in this county, there is a noise of 
bees heard in one of the farms belonging to it, before the 
death of any of them, of which 'tis common for the tenants 
to give them notice, when perhaps there is none of the 
family ill, yet in a little time some of them certainly die ; as 
those of the family of Oxenham, in the county of Devon, 
likewise infallibly do, upon the appearance of a bird with a 
white breast fluttering about their beds."* 

We may for the meantime discount the connected facts of 
the deaths in the family ; but certainly it is remarkable that 
in so many detached and straggling instances, knocks or 
knockings on furniture should have been heard and reported. 

Of all the phenomena connected with Mr. Home, there is 
none which makes a greater demand on the faith of those 
who have not been eye-witnesses of it, than the elevation of 
his person into the air. Yet we see that two of the sensi- 
tives adduced from the two past centuries, are reported as 
occasionally exemplifying the same mysterious process. In 
the annals of both hagiology and demonology, a lifting of 
the body by invisible means is frequently averred. The life 
of St. Francis d'Assisi (bom 1182) has been related from 
immediate and direct observation by those amongst whom 
he lived ; and it is one of the most serious statements of 
his secretary Leo, that the saint would sometimes, when 
ravished with divine meditation, be raised into the air, so 
that he (the secretary) could only reach his feet, to water 
them with his tears. The biographers of the celebrated 
female Spanish saint of the sixteenth century, St. Theresa, 

• Plot's "Staffordshire," 1686, p. 329. 



282 APPENDIX. 

assure us with all solemnity, that in her hours of extreme 
devotion she was frequently lifted into the air. In the sight 
of all the sisterhood she was, on one occasion, floated over the 
grate of the convent door. Of St. Peter d' Alcantara, who 
starved himself till he became transparent, it is related that 
he was often enveloped in a lustrous light, and elevated into 
the air. In Wierus's celebrated book on demonology, there 
is an account of a nun named Magdalena Crucia, of Cor- 
duba in Spain, who was sometimes lifted several cubits off 
the ground. Another fact in her case, recalling one in the 
early life of Mr. Home, was that at the celebration of the 
Eucharist, one of the wafers would be conveyed to her 
mouth without human agency. 

Glanvil tells a strange story of a gentleman's butler in 
Ireland, who was thought to be haunted by spirits, that 
threatened to carry him away, and who was actually one 
day raised from the ground in the presence of several per- 
sons, including Mr. Valentine Greatrakes, the celebrated 
" Stroker." Mr. G-reatrakes and another lusty man clapped 
their arms over his shoulders, one before, and the other 
behind, and weighed him down with all their strength ; but 
he was forcibly taken up from them, and they were too weak 
to keep their hold, and for a considerable time he was carried 
in the air to and fro over their heads, several of the company- 
still running under him, to prevent his receiving hurt if he 
should fall. At length he fell, and was caught before he 
came to the ground, and had by that means no hurt. 

Mr. E. Fowler, Lord Orrery, and Mr. Greatrakes were tlie 
informants of Dr. Henry More and Mr. Glanvil in this case. 
Dr. More " heard Mr. Greatrakes tell the story at my Iiord 
Conway's, at Eagley, and particularly inquired about tlie 
man's being carried up into the air above men's heads in 
the room, and he [Mr. Greatrakes] did eaepresaly affirm that he 
was an eye-witness thereof" 

Levitation of the body was one of the peculiarities popu- 
larly ascribed to witches. One of the tests for that kind of 
criminality was to weigh the accused against the parisli 



EXPERIENCES OF FOBMEB TIMES. 283 

bible ; another, to bind her and cast her into a pool, to 
ascertain whether she could float or not. Probably these 
tests took their rise in some instances of actual sensitives, 
who, like Mr. Home, were sometimes lifted off the ground. 
It is also not unworthy of notice, that the people of the 
Hebrides to this day try to cure madness by throwing the 
patient into the sea with a rope round his body, and are 
generally under the belief that mad people have a floating 
power much above that of ordinary mortals. 

That feature of Mr. Home's mediumship (not, however, 
confined to him) which consists in the appearance of a 
hand — a hand which touches the individuals of a company, 
transports little articles, or performs on musical instruments, 
appears a very peculiar kind of demonstration. Why so 
often a hand alone ? Why should the remainder of a spiri- 
tual figure be so seldom seen ? We may ask such questions, 
with little chance of a satisfactory answer ; but meanwhile, 
it is important to observe that the appearance and the 
visible operations of a detached spirit-hand are amongst 
the most common of the special demonstrations in old times. 

Aubrey relates an interesting story of the reign of King 
James I, in which a visionary hand performs a part. The 
second wife of Sir Walter Long of Draycot, had succeeded 
in inducing her husband to disinherit his son by the first 
marriage. At the assizes at Bath, her brother. Sir Egri- 
mond Thynne, an eminent sergeant-at-law, drew up the 
proper documents, and his clerk had to engross them at 
night. " As he was writing, he perceived a shadow on the 
parchment from the candle ; he looked up and there ap- 
peared a hand, which immediately vanished. He was 
startled by it, but thought it might be only his fancy, being 
sleepy ; so he wrote on. By and bye, a fine white hand inter- 
posed between the writing and the candle (he could discern 
it was a woman's hand), but [it] vanished as before. With 
that, the clerk threw down his pen and would engross no 
more."* In Aubrey we also find that, when a Highland 
• Aubrey's " Miscellanies," p. 75. 



284 APPENDIX. 

seer attempted to tell how the power of second sight came 
to him, he was sure to be rebuked by strokes from an in^ 
visible hand,* 

In the case of a house supposed to be haunted by what 
the Germans call a poltergheist, related by Mather as hap- 
pening at Newberry in New England, in the year 1679, a 
man was " discemibly beaten by a fist, and a hand got hold 
of his wrist, which he saw, but could not catch." In an- 
other case, related by the same author, at Portsmouth in 
New England, the family " saw the appearance of a hand 
put forth at the hall window, .throwing stone8."t Accord- 
ing to Henry More, " near Elton, a village half a mile dis- 
tant from Embrica in the dukedom of Cleve, there was a 
thing had its haunt, they called it Eckerken ; there appeared 
never more than the shape of a hand ; but it would beat 
travellers, pull them off their horses, and overturn car- 
riages." J 

In Baxter's Certainty of the World of Spirits^ is a letter 
written to the author by the famous Earl (afterwards Duke) 
of Lauderdale, in March 1659, his lordship being then a 
prisoner in Windsor Castle. Lord Lauderdale t-ells of a 
house named Powdean, in Annandale, which had been 
haunted for fifty or sixty years, and where a party of Eng- 
lish soldiers quartering had been beaten by invisible means. 
"Within the last fortnight," pursues his lordship, "Mr. 
James Sharpe [afterwards the archbishop of unhappy 
memory] was with me. He tells me that spirit now speaks, 
and appears frequently in the shape of a naked arm" In 
the like case of the Eerrick spirit — a poltergheist in 1695 — 
the minister declared he saw a detached hand and arm. In 
Ezekiel, " the Lord put forth the form of a hand, and took 
me by a lock of mine head," &c. " A hand with a book" 
was sent to the same prophet. " Behold an hand touched 

* Aubrey's " Miscellanies," p. 191. 

t Mather's "Remarkable Providences," edit. 1856, pp. 104, 116. 

J " Antidote against Atheism," p. 184. 



EXFEBIENCES OF FOBMEB TIMES. 285 

me," says Daniel, at the conclusion of his narrative of his 
vision. 

As a modern instance, the life of Caroline, Queen of 
Naples, (sister of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France,) " was 

closed by an uneasy death. To the Principessa di , 

who was with her in her last days at Vienna, and continued 
her attendance to her last moment, she said that she was 
troubled by visions of the past, and by loud voices speaking 
to her in her sleep ; that she heard all night long many 
angry voices calling upon her to follow ; and that even by 
daylight, she saw many hcmda beckoning through the curtains 
of her bed, while invisible voices whispered * Hist ! hist ! 
Caroline, hist !' " — 0. Macfarlcme, Note to Fictorial Histmy of 
Englomd. 

The warbling of an invisible bird over Mr. Home's infant 
(p. 131), becomes a remarkable incident in connection with 
other facts of spiritualism, in which the feathered creation 
performs a part. A gentleman, signing himself "W. C, and 
dating from Brunswick Square, communicates, in the * Spi- 
ritual Magazine ' for January, 1863, an account of a recent 
illness he had had, during which, for many months, he was 
almost continually regaled with the music of birds, forming 
the most exquisite harmony. Sometimes a canary seemed 
the leader, sometimes a lark, and every time he awoke the 
tune was changed. 

At the Conference (of Spiritualists) held in the Lyceum, 
New York, on the evening of the lOth of September, 1858, 
Mr. Taylor stated, that at the large circles held at his 
house, the chirping of an invisible bird was heard by all 
present, and Mr. Harris had been able to see it. Dr. Orton 
related a little incident which he said had occurred to him 
that morning. On the previous evening, he had had some 
conversation with a spirit friend, a female, who told him 
that she was about to make him a tangible present. In the 
morning (the door of the chamber being locked, and the 
windows, though open for air, having the shutters to) the 
sound of wings was heard, and a dove was seen flying to- 



286 APPENDIX. 

wards the window. A small packet, which it dropped on 
the floor, was found to contain the words in delicate pen- 
cilling, " Have I not redeemed my promise ?" In the course 
of the day, it was intimated to Dr. Orton that the dove was 
charged with the spirit of his friend ; that the billet had 
been written through an entranced medium, a lady of New 
York ; and she (the spirit) had influenced the bird to con- 
tract itself so as to pass through the lattice, which it had 
done in the middle of the night.* Capron states in his 
work, * Modem Spiritualism,' (p. 229), that in the house of 
Mrs. Anne Wilbur, of Providence, Rhode Island, a spiritual 
circle, experimenting in 1850, had this among other demon- 
strations : " we heard a sound resembling the flapping of 
a small bird's wings upon the white counterpane of the 
bed." 

Mr. J. Arbouin, a friend of Flaxman, relates a curious 
anecdot'O connected with the great sculptor in the Intellectual 
Repository for April 1814. 

A nobleman applied to Mr. Flaxman with directions for a 
monument for his departed wife ; and in communicating his 
instructions, said, "There must be a dove on the top." 
Mr. Flaxman observed, " My lord, this is not your crest." 
" No," said his lordship, *' but I have a particular reason 
for it ;" and was going away ; but, willing to satisfy the 
evident curiosity of Mr. Flaxman, he returned, and com- 
municated the following circumstance : 

" A few days before the death of my wife, I was reading 
by her bedside. All on a sudden she appeared inattentive 
to my reading, with her eyes fixed towards the window, and 
her lips moving as in tacit conversation. I waited till this 
ceased, and said, * My dear, you have not attended to my 
reading.' * No,' said she, * I have been conversing with. 

(mentioning a female departed friend) : did you not 

see her at the window ? She has been talking to me with, a 
dove on her finger, and says she shall call for me next 
Friday,' " On the Friday the wife died. 

• 'Spiritual Age,' September, 1858. 



EXPEBIEXCES OF FOBMEB TIMES. 287 

In the obituary of the Gentleman's Magazine for Octo- 
ber, 1786, occurs the following notice : "Died 17th October, 
at Cranbrook, Kent, Mr. Zachariah Pearce, aged 21. 

'* The following remarkable occurrences can be attested by 
many persons in Cranbrook. Mr. W. Pearce, his father, 
died of a frenzy, 30th November, 1785. Some time before 
he died, a small bird of the dish-water kind (aic) came often 
every day, and pecked hard against the chamber- window 
where Mr. Pearce lay sick. The window was set open to 
try if the bird would enter the room, but it did not, and 
means were used to catch it, but in vain. The bird con- 
tinued to come and do the same until Mr. Pearce died and 
was buried, and then it ceased to return. Since the above 
Zachariah Pearce was taken ill, the same bird, or one of the 
like kind, frequented his chamber-window, and continued to 
do so occasionally until the time of his death. 

"A similar circumstance occurred in the same parish 
about two and a half years ago. These are real facts. 
Something not unsimilar to this is related in one of Howell's 
letters." 

The story told in Howell's Letters has fortunately been 
given in a more authentic work, Lysons's "Devonshire," 
from a curious and rare contemporary pamphlet. It hence 
appears that a family named Oxenham, at Zeal Mona- 
chorum, in that county, had a bird apparition connected with 
it. At the death of John Oxenham, aged 21, in September, 
1635, the bird was seen hovering over him for two days 
before. At the nearly contemporaneous deaths of Thoma- 
sine and Eebecca Oxenham, the same appearance took place, 
such also was the case at the demise of Grace, the grand- 
mother of John Oxenham, in 1618. A monument was put 
up, stating these facts, and this monument Howell says he 
saw preparing in a stone-cutter's yard in Fleet Street. It 
is, however, no longer in existence. 

In the Gentleman's Magazine 1862, is a critical article 
on the Oxenham bird legend, from which it appears that the 
apparition was believed to continue attached to the family 
upwards of a century after any of the above dates. The 



288 APPENDIX. 

writer quotes a letter from " J. Short, Middle Temple," dated 
December 24, 1741, as follows : " I have received an answer 
from the countiy in relation to the strange bird which 
appeared to Mr. Oxenham just before his death, and 
the account which Dr. Bertie gave to Lord Abingdon 
of it is certainly true. It first was seen outside the 
window, and soon afterwards by Mrs. Oxenham in the 
room, which . she mentioned to Mr. Oxenham, and asked 
him if he knew what bird it was. * Yes,' says he, *it 
has been upon my face and head, and is recorded in his- 
tory as always appearing to our family before their deaths ; 
but I shall cheat the bird.' Nothing more was said about 
it, nor was the bird taken notice of from that time ; but he 
died soon afterwards. However odd this affair may appear, 
it is certainly true ; for the account was given of it by Mrs. 
Oxenham herself, but she never mentions it to any one un- 
less particularly asked about it ; and as it was seen by several 
persons at the same time, I can't attribute it to imagination, 
but must leave it as a phenomenon not yet accounted for." 

The ancient Eomans had no observance more prominent 
in their public life than the system of augury, or vaticination 
from the flight of birds. Might it not have arisen — did it 
not most probably arise — from some actual instances of 
warning given by spirits in bird form? There are many 
such curious enquiries suggested by the facts of modem 
spiritualism, and individuals possessing ability and taste for 
historico-philosophical speculation, if they could overcome 
their unfortunate prejudice on this subject, would find it 
fruitful and interesting beyond any other now claiming their 
attention. Instead of being a superstition itself, as they may 
be disposed to think it, they would find it the explanation and 
the extinguisher of all superstition. 



THE END.